Reseller Hosting Explained: Everything You Need to Know

So how do you define a reseller?

According to Wikipedia:

“A reseller is a company or individual (merchant) that purchases goods or services with the intention of selling them rather than consuming or using them. This is usually done for profit (but could be resold at a loss).”

That is pretty much what a reseller does when it comes to web hosting. It’s basically a service provision strategy where a company purchases a hosting package from a web hosting company (let’s call it a ‘parent hosting company’) and then sells it to third party customers independently.

Where does profit come in?

Sow less. Reap more.

With a little investment, the reseller can make good profit.

Generally, the profit for resellers can come in 3 ways.

  • From the data and server management services they provide to businesses with limited resources to do this on their own
  • Get a cut of the profit from the parent company for procuring new customers who’ll make purchases from the parent firm through the reseller
  • Selling services at a price higher than the parent host’s price

For a reseller, the more the customers, the more the revenue.

Relationship between Host and Reseller

The reseller essentially purchases a large hosting package from the host and then divides and sells it to third party clients based on their requirements. The reseller, normally, will also be contacting the parent host for technical support when a third party client requests assistance. Consequently, it may take some time for the client to get the required assistance (depending on the parent host).

In some cases, there would be a contract between the host and reseller, stating they will be charging the reseller on a per-client basis. Each time a new client purchases a hosting account from the reseller, the parent host charges the reseller. Rates may vary depending on the parent host.

The reseller will also be able to upgrade his hosting account so as to accommodate more clients. The parent host also takes up the server maintenance costs.

Common Features of Reseller Hosting Solutions

Parent hosting company is also a factor that influences the features of a reseller hosting service. A reseller can start web hosting business by choosing the appropriate package from the parent host. Generally, the packages resellers can purchase from the parent host may include the following features.

  • Manage plans and configure accounts based on client needs
  • Brand the reseller web hosting company with the parent host invisible to clients
  • Disk size and bandwidth
  • Host domains
  • Configure/Provide control panel, email, scripts, monitoring tools and other features to third party clients

Advantages of Reseller Hosting for Clients

By choosing a reseller hosting solution, third party clients get benefits similar to that of dedicated hosting package at a low price.

Let’s get into details.

Low cost alternative – As mentioned above, reseller hosting is a low-cost alternative to dedicated hosting, while providing benefits similar to that of the latter. To run multiple websites in a server, the client will normally have to purchase several hosting packages. With reseller hosting, this isn’t necessary. The client can make a single payment (low cost of course) to accommodate multiple websites rather than pay for individual hosting packages to run each website.

More features than basic plans – Because it’s a reseller service, the service provider (reseller) will try to make the deal as attractive as possible. Because of this, typical reseller packages tend to have more features than a basic hosting plan, though this depends on the reseller’s deal with the parent host.

For starters, reseller hosting solutions generally tend to have more effective control panels for easier website management. If the client goes for a basic solution, he may have to work with a control panel of limited effectiveness. In addition to a powerful control panel, many resellers also offer unlimited SSL with each reseller account.

Micromanage – Resellers typically offer a variety of packages that allows clients to micromanage their websites. They will be able to manage their disk space utilization, bandwidth usage, and many other aspects of the hosted website.

No maintenance – A typical dedicated server requires the client to deal with complicated server issues should they arise (except for managed dedicated hosting). But with a reselling solution, they won’t have to bother with technical issues. They will be getting technical assistance from the provider. The provider will also be responsible for maintaining the website with updates and security audits.

Ideal for large websitesReseller hosting solutions are ideal of clients with large websites or those who want to run multiple websites. Standard reseller packages come with enough space and network capabilities, supporting the growth of the clients’ websites. They can also host multiple websites without having to purchase additional hosting plans, but allocate space for the sites.

Starting a Reseller Hosting Business

Being a reseller host is a quick and affordable way to start a web hosting company. For those companies that provide web services, reseller hosting is a lucrative addition to the repertoire.

Here’s what you need to know before you start the business.

  • Thorough research on reputed and reliable web hosting firms to shortlist the ones that offer reseller hosting packages
  • Estimate the number of customers you can immediately procure after starting the business, as it will help you determine the hosting package you will need.
  • Determine the types of packages to offer to customers
  • Put a price tag on each type of packages, work on detailing the benefits of each OR see how you can use it as a value added service for one of your other web services
  • Compare the hosting plans to determine which one fits your needs and budget
  • Carefully go through the instructions of the parent host before you sign the deal. This could help set up packages you can sell to your customers
  • Start the business, support the customers and watch it grow