- What is reseller hosting?
- How does reseller hosting work?
- What are the benefits of reseller hosting?
- How does one make profit from reseller hosting?
- How to start my own reseller hosting business?
- How to become a domain seller or reseller?
- Who is the best reseller hosting provider?
- How to choose the best reseller hosting?
- How much capital do I need to become a hosting reseller?
- How to build a web hosting reseller site?
- How to create web host reseller packages and prices?
- Who provides the technical support to my clients?
Find the answers to some of the most common questions people ask about reseller hosting. Reseller hosting isn't limited to resellers only. Web design studios, web developers, freelances and site owners can also benefit from becoming a reseller.
Whatever the case may be, if you have any questions about reseller hosting, you've come to the right place. Let's start with the most obvious one.
What is reseller hosting?
When operating as a reseller, you can appear to your end clients as an actual web hosting company. In fact, you would be "reselling" the services of an established web host. Typically, you purchase a reseller hosting package and then provide hosting to customers using these allocated resources. This allows you to make a healthy profit as you can charge your own customers whatever fees you want. Each of your customers gets their own Control Panel access, so they can manage their account completely on their own. In the end, your customers think it's your server and your services.
How does reseller hosting work?
Here is a real-world example. Let's say that someone you know owns a restaurant. They don't know a thing about hosting. But they know that they need it to keep the website of their restaurant online.
You offer them to host their website as you can probably give them a cheaper price than what they are currently paying and a better service. Additionally, most resellers include other services they can offer - web design and development, online marketing, SEO, etc.
Long story short, they get the hosting from, and you use your partnership status with the hosting company to provide the service.
Your client gets their own Control Panel, so they can manage everything on their own (like manage their email accounts). In their eyes you are the actual hosting provider. There is no mentioning of the real service provider anywhere on the interfaces they would access. You, on the other hand, get to make profit by charging them a fee higher than what you are actually paying.
What are the benefits of reseller hosting?
Web hosting is a complex business. You need to build and maintain servers, rent or build data centers at multiple locations across the globe with reliable upstream providers, hire and maintain a staff of highly qualified individuals working on shifts around the clock (system administrators, technical support, account managers, and others), set up and maintain the entire software stack (server OS, web server, database server, email, etc.), implement billing solutions and backup systems. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
The great thing about reseller hosting is that it takes all that complexity out of the equation. You get someone else to do all the "dirty work" while you focus on acquiring new clients. With a good reseller hosting program, your end customers would not even know the difference. You would appear to them as the actual hosting provider, and you can charge them whatever fees you want. In result, they receive a quality web hosting service while you make a nice profit.
A major benefit of reseller hosting is the minimum operating and investment costs involved. You don't have to spend any money on server hardware and software, which by the way have to be updated on a regular basis, data center infrastructure, and employee salaries and related costs. All of this is taken care of by the actual web host whose services you'd be reselling.
Another great reseller hosting benefit is the recurring revenue stream. If you are a web design company, normally, you would get a one-time payment for actually building your client's website, and you could get some smaller payments down the line for doing maintenance/update works in the future. A great thing about web hosting (from the service provider's standpoint) is that it's a service with an expiration date and it has to be renewed monthly or annually. Thus, it can help you establish a steady stream of income.
How does one make profit from reseller hosting?
The most popular saying in the financing world is "buy low, sell high" and it's applicable in the case of reseller hosting. With most reseller programs, you pay for one hosting package with certain specs, and you can host as many websites as you want as long as you have enough server resources (e.g. disk space, monthly traffic, etc.).
Typically, these programs allow you to set your own profit margins, so you are in full control of just how much you can earn.
How to start my own reseller hosting business?
The explanation provided here might be over-simplified, but we are doing that for the sake of making things easier to understand. So, let's go through all the basic steps you must take in order to establish a reseller hosting business:
- Research the market and select a reseller hosting program that meets your requirements and needs. We will cover the things you should look for later on in this post.
- Configure the hosting plans you wish to sell (set their names and technical specs such as disk space, bandwidth, etc.) and set their prices.
- Build your own hosting company website and market your hosting plans there.
- Drive traffic to your hosting company website and make sales.
The ICDSoft Reseller Program Does All That and More
How to become a domain seller or reseller?
Some reseller hosting programs also give you the option to sell domain name registrations. This allows you to provide your end customers with the complete package giving them the convenience of buying all services from one place. Having the domain hosted at one company while the registration service is provided by another could lead to renewal problems as users often forget to renew both.
At ICDSoft, we take great pride in the fact that we offer domain registrations at cost price. We are not making any profit from domains, and that gives resellers the opportunity to increase their earnings by reselling them at a higher yet quite competitive price.
The TLDs you can resell with our program are - COM, NET, ORG, INFO, BIZ, US, UK, CO.UK, EU, DE, CA, HK, COM.HK, NET.HK, ORG.HK, EDU.HK, IDV.HK.
With our ICDSoft Reseller Store plugin for WordPress or our PHP-based widget, you can place a domain order form on your own website in a matter of minutes. Our hosted storefront solution comes with a domain order form as well.
Who is the best reseller hosting provider?
This is a very subjective question and it's quite difficult to come up with a straight answer. It would be easy for us to say that we at ICDSoft offer the best reseller hosting platform for a number of good reasons. But it all depends on your particular requirements and needs, and which company can handle them best. Perhaps the better question here is actually the next one on the list - "How to choose the best reseller hosting?" and what are the features to consider when you compare the plans of the various provides out there?
How to choose the best reseller hosting?
All of the major hosting providers offer a reseller hosting program and while everything seems great on the surface, there could be a lot of potential drawbacks underneath when you start digging in. First word of advice for you is - read the fine print of every reseller program you consider! Examine carefully all available documentation and inquire about the limits that are in place. As much as you might hear the word "unlimited", nothing's really unlimited in the world of web hosting.
Most providers place the emphasis on two things - disk space and monthly price. The disk space typically varies between 10 GB and 100 GB. It's important because it determines how many websites you can host on your account. The number of sites you can host is usually labeled as "unlimited", but you are in fact limited by the available disk space.
The price is usually on a monthly basis and it typically goes from $10.00 USD to $50.00 USD. What's really important to note when looking at the monthly price is the duration of the contract. For example, the ad might say "$9.99" with a 50% discount, but it could turn out that you would have to sign up for three years in advance in order to be eligible for that promo offer.
Here are the other factors to consider when you are looking to find the best reseller hosting provider:
- Software platform - it's crucial to see the server software architecture and whether you would be able to run your applications. If you need to run ASP scripts, you ought to get a Windows server. The popular choice, however, is to go for the LAMP stack - Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.
- Customer support - another crucial aspect often overlooked by people. The question here is - who is the first line of support for your end customers? Who is going to offer the support service for them? Most reseller hosting providers offer support for their actual resellers, while they in turn must support their own customers.
- Online storefront - you can't make a sale without an actual store, right? The reseller hosting program you sign up for should provide an online storefront that you can easily add to your own hosting website. It should allow your potential customers to order hosting accounts on your website and have them opened on the servers of the hosting provider whose services you are actually reselling.
- Website migration - a free website migration service helps attract new clients, so it's a good thing if your actual host provides it. Check if they do and what the actual conditions are.
- Email - ask if the email service is included with the hosting accounts you will open for your end clients, or if you will have to pay extra for it.
- Backups - check if your customer accounts get daily backups with their plans or if that requires additional payments.
How much capital do I need to become a hosting reseller?
That depends on the reseller hosting partner you decide to do business with. Typically, you would have to sign up for a monthly hosting package deal, which would cost anywhere between $10 USD to $100 USD. You would have to build an actual hosting website with an online storefront, and if you can't do that on your own, that could end up costing you a lot. Prices can vary dramatically depending on the scale of your project, so we won't throw any specific numbers here.
How to build a web hosting reseller site?
We've come up with a series of tutorials and videos that guide you through the process of building a web hosting reseller site from start to finish using nothing but free tools! You can see our example website at HectoHost.com. It's based on WordPress and Elementor. Here is a link to part one of our tutorial:
Below you can the video walkthrough on building one of the website pages:
You can find our entire video series on our YouTube Channel. And remember, if you encounter any difficulties building your reseller hosting business, just contact our Support Team, and we will assist you right way.
How to create web host reseller packages and prices?
That depends on the reseller hosting provider you decide to go with. Most offerings come with software called "Web Host Manager" (WHM) that allows you (the reseller) to set up and manage the accounts for your end customers. The downside is that WHM is tied to cPanel, which is paid software, and when you use such software, you would be affected by any price increases. Providers have to transfer these increased expenses over to their resellers, which would in turn increase the monthly fee for your reseller package.
cPanel shakes the hosting indutry with a major price increase
ICDSoft is independent from third parties as it develops its own Control Panel and Account Management Panel
Regardless of which solution you go for - the online store or the SmartVPS plan - you can easily set up your hosting packages. The online store management interface allows you set a custom name and price for each one of your hosting plans. On the SmartVPS plan, you can open accounts for your end customers through its management interface and they will in turn have their own Control Panels. You can refer to the screenshots below for details on these features.
Who provides the technical support to my clients?
This is something you should certainly check with your reseller hosting provider. With most offerings, you are responsible for providing customer support to your end clients. That could be a major problem due to the very nature of the hosting business.
Developers often play around with the inner workings of the site and end up breaking stuff. There could be incompatibility issues due to a recent update of your application or the hosting environment. The possibilities are endless and website owners need support 24/7. You could be asleep or on vacation, but that does not matter. They want their website back online now.
That's why it's very important to get reseller hosting that includes "white-label" support service. This means that your hosting provider will support your end customers. Of course, they should do that without revealing their identity as the actual hosting service provider.
ICDSoft Provides "white-label" customer support service for resellers