Starting a web hosting business requires extensive capital investment. Starting from expensive server hardware, hosting software, and applications to human resources for managing the entire setup. In short, a web hosting business can be an expensive affair. So, does that mean a new entrepreneur wanting to enter the hosting sector cannot start their own business? Of course, they can! This is where Reseller Hosting comes into the picture.
What is Reseller Hosting?
Reseller Hosting is a business model where you buy server resources in bulk from a full-fledged hosting company and instead of using these resources to power your website, you sell these resources to your customers in the form of your own hosting plans. Hence the name, Reseller Hosting.
Let us understand this better through an example:
You buy 10 flats in a building and you further rent them out to different individuals. You are the owner of those 10 flats, but the overall building maintenance, water supply, electric supply, gas supply, etc. is not your responsibility. You can customize the houses to each individual’s liking, but all within the limits of the flat’s resources, especially space. You get revenue from the rented apartments and you, in turn, pay money for building maintenance, etc.
How does Reseller Hosting work?
Full-fledged hosting companies offer various plans to their customers; Shared Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, Cloud Hosting, and so on. One of the plans that a lot of hosting companies offer is called a Reseller Hosting plan. Reseller Hosting plans offer lots of resources in bulk. As a Hosting Reseller, you will usually start off with buying a Reseller Hosting plan.
Once you buy the Reseller Hosting plan or account, you get a set number of resources. You can divide these resources into smaller units and create customized hosting solutions as per the needs of your target customers.
You get a bunch of software and applications as a part of the plan to help you set up your website. The most important applications are a control panel and an automated billing and account management software.
For billing and account management, WHMCS (Web Host Manager Complete Solutions) is usually the default choice. With WHMCS, you can create your own hosting plans. Once these plans are created, you can offer hosting services to your customers as your own hosting plans.
Reseller Hosting is often offered as a white-label service, meaning that you’re allowed to brand everything as you choose. Essentially, this means that the company that offers you the server space will not be visible to your customers. You can brand all your services in whatever way you deem fit.
Once you create custom plans and brand them, you will have to market these plans effectively to get customers and ensure a steady flow of revenue. Looking at the growing online channels of marketing, you can use digital marketing to promote your brand.
The market for Reseller Hosting services
Even though there are plenty of full-fledged hosting companies, Reseller Hosting is not just surviving, but thriving. There are two main reasons for that — customization and personalized customer care.
Not everyone who starts a website is an expert on hosting and therefore, there are a lot of people who need some extra help. Reseller Hosting providers can serve these new website owners with one-on-one support and handholding — go the extra mile and provide that extra bit of help. Reseller Hosting companies that do this well are flourishing, simply because customers are willing to pay extra for this service.
The next reason for the popularity of Reseller Hosting is custom hosting plans. Hosting needs vary from one website to another. Young bloggers need hosting plans that are cheap and have a lot of storage. Performance can take a bit of a hit here.
On the other hand, eCommerce websites want fast websites and performance is crucial to their success. A tech startup may not need a lot of storage but just want a fast website.
Reseller Hosting companies usually pick a niche and perfect the various plans that they can create for that niche. This means that they can offer hosting plans that cater to the exact needs of their customers at great prices.
These are just some of the reasons that have made Reseller Hosting very popular.
Things to look out for in a Reseller Hosting plan
All Reseller Hosting plans aren’t created equal and therefore, there are several things to look out for when you’re choosing a Reseller Hosting plan for your business.
1. The hosting company
There are three factors that can make or break any hosting company — performance, reliability, and security. When you’re a reselling hosting provider, you don’t have a lot of control over any of these.
The hosting company that you partner with owns the servers and they maintain the servers. So, all three factors are directly dependent on them, which is why choosing the right hosting company is crucial.
Good hosting companies will spend extra on better equipment, they’ll hire better expertise to maintain their servers, and use better tools to protect their servers. All these make a huge difference.
If your customers don’t find your hosting service to be reliable, fast, or secure, you can be pretty sure that they won’t stick around for long. So, when you’re choosing a hosting company, make sure that you partner with a company that has a proven track record of offering good and reliable hosting services.
2. Quantity of resources
It’s important to choose a plan that accurately reflects your business trajectory. When you’re starting off, chances are, you’ll not have a lot of customers. So, make sure that you don’t buy a plan that has too many resources.
Irrespective of whether you make a profit, you will have to pay the hosting company. So, ensure that you have a realistic outlook and choose a plan that caters to that.
Scaling up a Reseller Hosting plan is quite easy if you’ve partnered with the right hosting company. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
3. Control panel and billing applications
Look for a Reseller Hosting plan that offers a pre-integrated control panel for easy hosting management. Also, go for plans that offer free control panel accounts for your customers as well.
Moreover, as discussed in the first part of the blog, automated billing, and management software is essential for the seamless administration of your hosting account. Find a Reseller Hosting account that offers applications such as WHMCS for free with the Reseller Hosting plan.
Reseller Hosting is a great business venture, given that a lot of businesses of all sizes, and across industries are starting websites and getting online. As mentioned earlier, just make sure that you partner with a reputed hosting company, such as Eastlinkcloud, when starting your business. This will minimize teething issues and allow you to fully concentrate on growing your business.