Green Clook

How to Resell Web Hosting Services

How to Resell Web Hosting Services

Learning how to resell web hosting services could be one of the most profitable decisions you make.

The beauty of reseller hosting is that you don’t need to be a technical wizard to get started.

All you need is to have a willingness to learn and to understand the basics of business and customer service.

Our most successful reseller hosts keep everything simple.

They use tools to automate some of the more time-intensive tasks. This enables them to focus on winning new customers and delighting current clients.

We’ll talk about some of the tools and techniques that our reseller hosts use in the guide below.

Table of Contents

Choose an appropriate Reseller Hosting provider

It sounds obvious, but if you don’t have a reseller hosting provider you cannot resell web hosting.

Taking this one step further, you cannot be a successful reseller host yourself without using the services of a reputable reseller hosting provider.

Don’t fall into the trap of choosing the cheapest provider. You’ll quickly find that their services are unreliable and their support department is non-existent when they have issues.

Some top tips to find an appropriate reseller hosting provider:

  • Contact their support department, not their sales department. How long do they take to answer, is their support out-sourced, do they sound knowledgeable, or are they reading from a script?
  • Look at the total cost of their service. Is everything you need included or will you need to purchase additional features such as SSL certificates, “premium support” (we believe all support should be premium), and backups?
  • Check out the provider’s reviews (here’s our customer reviews), what are people saying about the support department, and their responsiveness
  • Is the provider promising you a hosting account without limits (Unlimited everything!) but their small print suggests you’ll be limited at every opportunity?
  • Ask if they disable your access to cPanel backups (this is a massive warning sign. If you can’t access cPanel backups, moving away from them is much more difficult).
  • Do they tie you into long-term contracts, if so ask yourself why they do this? All our reseller hosting plans can be bought on a month-to-month contract. This ensures that we focus on customer service to retain your business.

Decide what features you want to offer on your Reseller Hosting plans

If you were looking to host yourself, what features would you need? These are the features you should include in your hosting plans.

You should consider these basic features:

  • SSL Certificates.
  • Private nameservers.
  • Ability to fully white label the service.
  • Automatic backups with a backup retention plan.
  • Web management panel.
  • One-click installs of popular web applications such as WordPress and Drupal.
  • Ability to manage the Firewall.

There are many more must-have features but the above should give you a good start.

One of the most important features is the web management panel. We use cPanel, and WHM (Web Host Manager), which is the most popular web management panel in the world.

cPanel makes management a breeze. From creating accounts to taking backups and creating email accounts. This takes a lot of the leg work out of reseller hosting, saving you both time and money.

Be careful when choosing a provider with a custom admin panel that they’ve created themselves.

What you’ll find is that the provider will happily migrate your data to them for free. When you grow tired of their lack of support, you’ll find they are less than helpful in advising how to move your data away from them.

All our reseller hosting plans include the features above and we use cPanel and WHM for ease of management.

Price and spec your Reseller Hosting plans

A primary aim of most commercial businesses is to make money. If you don’t get your pricing correct from the start you’ll find you quickly run into issues.

Some things to consider when pricing your reseller hosting plans and learning how to resell web hosting services:

  • Most reseller hosting plans are priced based upon disk space. You should also do the same to avoid price disparity.
  • Email usage tends to account for most of the disk space used. Consider this when pricing your packages.
  • Ensure that you sell the benefits of your reseller hosting provider. Our clients focus on our 24/7 365 days a year support and monitoring. The monitoring aspect is important, we resolve most issues before you as the reseller or your clients even notice. This means fewer support queries for you to deal with and more time to focus on other aspects of your business.

Automatically invoice your customers

Once you’ve confirmed your pricing, you’ll want a way of automatically invoicing your client.

Whilst raising manual invoices initially is probably doable, as you welcome more clients, you’ll find this becomes more and more difficult.

We’d recommend that you review WHMCS and Clientexec. Both of these have been specifically developed for web hosting providers.

Effectively support your clients

Putting knowledge to one side for a moment, the reality is that anyone can start a web hosting business.

If you want to be completely independent, server hardware is freely available to buy and Co-location facilities can be found around the world.

Equally, if you don’t want all the responsibility you can look at unmanaged server providers who will be responsible for the hardware and network connectivity of the server. You’ll be responsible for everything else including software patching and so on.

At the other end of the spectrum, you can look at Reseller hosting, where you’ll only be responsible for the administration of the hosting account.

The point is that there isn’t a barrier to entry to web hosting. Anyone can do it and so hosting generally boils down to two points of differentiation. Price and customer support. Small companies do not have the buying power or economies of scale that large providers benefit from, making competing on price difficult.

This means that the customer support you provide is hugely important when it comes to differentiating yourself from the competition.

Taking that point further it also means that when you’re seeking a reseller hosting provider, you should focus on their support (since that’s effectively what you are reselling) not the price of their reseller packages.

One way to ensure your replies are timely and ensure continuity is to use a dedicated ticket system. These are all worthy of a review

WHMCS (yes it’s a billing system at its core but it also has an inbuilt ticket system)
Kayako
Zendesk (also a CRM system)
supportpal
Clientexec (also a billing system with an inbuilt ticket system)

Summary

I hope you found our guide on how to resell web hosting services useful. I wish you the very best of luck with your reseller hosting venture.

Here at Clook, we specialise in Reseller Hosting. We like to think that we offer the best reseller hosting in the UK… our customer reviews certainly back up this bold statement!

About The Author

Will's our technical sales guy from the hills of Rossendale. In his spare time he can be found designing and building websites, or doing a spot of DIY!

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