How to Start a Web Hosting Business – Beginner’s Guide
More and more businesses create their own websites day by day and every one of them needs a reliable web hosting provider. There are big names in the web hosting business and some of them have tens of thousands of servers available. They earn lots of money with this increasing demand for websites and it’s incredibly hard to compete with them as a web hosting business.
However, we have some great news for you. If you want to earn money by selling web hosting services, you can do so by choosing one of the biggest companies and joining them. It’s called reseller hosting and it requires little to no investment to start off. This kind of business is highly recommended for web design and development teams who want to sell web hosting service as a bonus package to their clients.
Reseller hosting allows you to reach new clients from other countries and provide your own web hosting plans under your brand name. Besides building up websites for your clients, you can instantly offer a web hosting plan and get it online so that they don’t need to worry about that part either. Today, most web hosting companies let you use your own brand which is a huge deal if you want to build up trust.
Essential Tips for Web Hosting Resellers
Reseller hosting sounds good and it might seem like it’s an easy way to earn money. The truth is that hundreds of people try it and fail on a monthly basis, only a few of them manage to generate revenue. In order to become successful, you need a good marketing plan, web hosting services that stand out of the crowd and, of course, a solid web hosting company to partner with.
We are going to show you how to survive as a reseller and eventually generate the revenue you want. Here are our 8 tips for resellers that will help you lead your web hosting business to success:
1. The Three Levels of Reseller Hosting
Reseller hosting plans vary based on how much experience you have in web hosting. If you have more experience in marketing, you are going to focus on selling web hosting plans. On the other hand, if you are experienced in server management, you can dive into the technicalities and set up everything from scratch. In general, there are three different types of reseller hosting plans you can choose from:
- If you have great ideas about how to promote your brand and sell web hosting services effectively while having little to no experience in web hosting itself, you can opt for a regular reseller hosting plan. This is usually free or costs only a few dollars which is great if you want to try it out without investing into it.
- For those who have a bit of web hosting experience but still not enough for managing servers, there are plenty of options available with cPanel. It’s the most popular control panel for web hosting that most companies provide. You can use it as a tool to support your customers and customize the plans you offer.
A reseller plan that includes cPanel costs $10-15 per month on average.
- Users that are more experienced in server management usually rent a dedicated or VPS server and then set up their own plans by dividing the resources accordingly. These options usually cost more than $30 but they also have a bigger potential to return your investment.
When it comes to web hosting services, what every customer needs is a fast and reliable customer support. This is not necessarily your job as a reseller, it only depends on the web hosting provider you choose. There are plenty of companies out there that take care of the customer support for your customers while you can focus on the marketing part.
2. Prepare to Make the First Sale
Most web hosting resellers don’t generate any revenue at the start. There are lots of competitors out there and people need to get familiar with your brand before buying. It is recommended to prepare for the first few months in case you don’t make any sales in the meantime.
Since you can’t stay in a business forever without a profit, you should figure out how long it is worth for you to go on. This mainly depends on your budget and the reseller hosting plan you subscribed to. If you choose a cPanel, VPS or dedicated server, then you will need to pay a monthly price which will become a burden if you don’t attract any customers.
However, choosing a free reseller hosting plan ensures that there is no financial pressure whatsoever. It is just a bit different from an affiliate program where you also don’t have any financial obligations.
3. Analyze the Market
There are plenty of reviews and blog posts out there that can give you an overview of the web hosting market, but those can easily miss the point. It is definitely worth it to put some more effort into it and delve into the details for more valuable information.
For example, you can always search for feedback in the form of comments, customer reviews and discussion boards where people talk about the specs and features they prefer in a web hosting provider. There are huge names in the web hosting industry and you can find them all with a simple Google search. Then just take a look at the first page and check out what features and services they offer.
You can get lots of ideas by opening their website and going through their plans and prices, filtering out only the highly demanded offers.
4. Offer Attractive Web Hosting Plans
Analyzing the market can give you some ideas about how to make your services more valuable and engaging. Adding something unique will act as a magnet that attracts more customers. Most web hosting companies simply offer lower prices than their competition, but you can’t lower them that much if you want your investment to return.
What can make your web hosting business truly stand out is improving your customer service as much as you can. If you can quickly respond, fix a wide range of issues and provide information about your services at any time, then customers will come and stay for a long time. On the other hand, promoting the ‘unlimited’ features of your web hosting plans is also a great idea.
As we mentioned before, web hosting is a digital service that can be paired up with web design and development. If customers can buy a well-designed website and instantly get an attractive web hosting plan with the package as well, most of them will be more than happy to accept the offer.
5. Choose a Trustworthy Brand Name and Logo
Joining the web hosting business also means that you need a catchy brand name. It simply can’t be done effectively as an anonymous user because people need to have some sort of connection with your business, otherwise they won’t trust your services. In addition, it is essential to set up a website if you want to establish a solid online presence and promote your company and it also requires a brand name.
Your brand name is one of the first things your customers will memorize. Besides that, you need a logo that represents your brand and makes the first impression of a professional and trustworthy business. The logo and domain name of your website both should include the name of your brand.
Welcoming your website visitors with a catchy slogan that reflects the quality of the services you provide is a popular marketing technique today with highly positive results.
Quick and Reliable Customer Service
If people are not satisfied with a web hosting service, they can switch to another one at any time. There are plenty of providers available that help new users import their website data so they can continue right where they finished. Since users can switch so quickly, you need to provide them a high-quality customer support to keep them happy with your hosting plan and make them stay.
Customers have questions and run into problems all the time, so it’s essential to get in contact with them as soon as possible. Resellers that use cPanel can rely on the provider when it comes to technical support. However, that might not be enough. Make sure to ask your customers every now and then whether they are satisfied with the customer service they get.
A good way to build up trust with your customers is to add a personal touch to your replies. A message doesn’t need to be so formal because it can feel like it’s an automatic message. People value it more if you really devote your time into reading their messages and answering them, maybe even adding a humorous vibe to it.
Set up Your Business Blog
A web hosting website is like any other web shop or company site, you can’t really fill it with that much content. It can only contain catchy phrases and essential information about your products or services. People want to quickly understand what your business has to offer and they don’t want to be distracted.
If you want to add some quality content to your website, start your own blog. Publishing articles with focused keywords and backlinks can be a great SEO strategy, accumulating lots of traffic to your website. People will find your company more easily through search engines and posting helpful articles will ensure a boost to your authority as well.
You can take a look at the blogs of big web hosting providers. They usually post news articles about their company and technology, or helpful articles related to website building, online marketing or similar topics. It is also a place where your customers can comment and even ask questions that can be answered with another blog post.
Advertise Your Brand and Find New Customers
If you came up with a catchy name for your brand, the next step is to popularize it and build up a solid online presence. You need a marketing plan to reach new customers and a website that represents your company. This is a step-by-step process that could take a lot of time to accomplish. However, there is always an easier way.
One thing that can instantly make your brand more trustworthy and reliable is choosing one of the biggest names in the web hosting industry as your partner. If people visit your website, most of them will recognize the brand name of your provider and it will encourage them to trust your services as well.
These providers also have their own affiliate programs, so you can not only use their name as a reseller, but also advertise their services, getting a fair share of revenue if a customer joins one of their plans. Once you start attracting new customers, your web hosting provider might consider adding your brand name to their list of partners, which is a great plus if you want to get ahead of your competition.
Choosing a Reputable Brand: InMotion Hosting
A lot of people are familiar with either InMotion Hosting or Web Hosting Hub, which is their subsidiary company. These are huge brand names that served over 300,000 customers so far with overwhelmingly positive feedback.
There are more than 200 employees working at InMotion Hosting, taking care of the data centers and keeping up a high-quality customer support. Back in 2001, the company was founded by two businessmen that wanted to exceed the expectations of their clients. Now it evolved into one of the biggest names in the industry.
By joining a reseller plan at InMotion Hosting, you will get access to free software that will make business a lot easier for you. Their WHMCS tools let you seamlessly put your hosting packages together with custom pricing, features and specifications. In addition, you can easily keep track of everything related to payments and customer accounts.
With InMotion Hosting, you can even boost your white-label reputability because they include an eNom license into your reseller plan. This means that you can start selling domain names while claiming your brand as the main domain name provider.
InMotion’s Reseller Plans & Prices
First off, all their reseller plans come with free features such as cPanel, Dedicated IP, SSL, eNom, WHMCS billing software and more. InMotion Hosting also guarantees free SSD drives with a 20x speed advantage over traditional hard disks.
Additional reseller tools include a free Softaculous installer, automatic backups for worry-free hosting and access to your emails from all devices. Softaculous makes you able to auto-install over 400 applications. If you are not satisfied with InMotion Hosting, you can always get your money back in 90 days.
There are 3 shared reseller plans, all of them providing a Dedicated IP and unlimited cPanels for the price. The first, R-1000S plan costs $22.39 a month with 80GB of storage and 800GB bandwidth and it’s optimal for beginners. If you are going for the best value, you should choose the R-2000S plan that costs $31.99 a month and guarantees a 120GB of disk space with 1.200GB bandwidth.
However, for those who want to take their business to a higher level, a VPS reseller hosting plan is essential. With a VPS plan, you can rely on the Live-State Snapshots which lets you revert back to any previous version on the server if anything goes wrong. You also get Root-Level Access that ensures seamless file and application management directly on the server.
The three VPS plans include the RESELLER VPS-1000 for $41.64 a month, the RESELLER VPS-2000 for $62.84 and the RESELLER VPS-3000 for $89.94 monthly. The first one gets you 4GB of RAM, 75GB SSD, 4TB bandwidth and 3 IP addresses. The third plan scales the specs up to an 8GB of RAM, 260GB disk space, 6TB bandwidth and 5 IP addresses.
This was our beginners guide on how to join a reseller hosting plan and the main things that can lead you to success. As a reseller, you will need to invest a lot of time and effort to make your business work. With some motivation, skill and a great marketing plan, your business will surely start to blossom and it will become one of your main sources of revenue.
This is the type of business where you have unlimited opportunities to provide something that none of the other companies have thought of. Find the social media platforms and forums where website owners talk about the things they really need in a web hosting provider and try to fill that marketing gap. Reseller hosting is your chance to create a unique web hosting brand with little to no investment.