Youâ€™re the webmaster of more than one website. You design websites for clients. Your business needs more than one site. Is a web host reseller account for you?
What is a web host reseller account?
A web host reseller account is a web hosting account that allows you to create hosting packages to sell to your clients. You can also host multiple sites of your own using the disk space allotted to the one hosting account.
Typical features of web host reseller accounts:
They come with a reseller-level control panel that allows you to create your own packages.
You can allocate disk space and bandwidth to each site on the account and change the space and bandwidth specifications if the siteâ€™s needs change.
Most reseller accounts provide the option for private nameservers (also called private label, personalized nameservers, or virtual nameservers). For example, if your reseller account is with SomeName Hosting and your company name is ExampleName Services, your clients will enter ns1.examplename.com and ns2.examplename.com for the nameservers for their domains.
With a web host reseller account, you handle account setup, billing, and (usually) support for your clients. Your web host provider maintains the servers and answers your support questions.
While a few starter reseller hosting packages are as small as 500 MB, most reseller providers offer packages starting at 1 GB or larger. A range of packages is usually available, a few going as high as 30 GB of disk space.
Who should become a web host reseller?
1. Individuals or businesses with more than one website
If you have more than one website and the total disk space you need is 500 MB or more, you can benefit from having a reseller account. The cost for web hosting is lower than if you have individual accounts for each site. Also, you can adjust the disk space and bandwidth allocations for each site.
2. Related service providers
A reseller account is also useful for people who provide related services. If youâ€™re a web designer, for example, why stop at designing sites? Provide your clients with web hosting under your company name, and you continue to earn revenue from your web design clients.
Letâ€™s say that you pay $40 a month for a 3-GB reseller account. If you offer 30 100-MB packages at $7 a month, you could earn up to $170 a month (after subtracting your cost) from that reseller account. Add on additional services such as search engine optimization and website maintenance, and your revenue increases again.
Advantages and disadvantages of having a reseller account
*You can have more flexibility with your web hosting accounts.
*You can save money.
*You can earn more revenue at little cost to yourself.
*You can focus on customer support and leave technical support to your web host.
*Your web host, not you, absorbs server maintenance costs.
*Your service is only as good as your upstream provider. If the server is frequently down, for example, you may lose clients.
*If you ever have to change web hosts, the move will be an inconvenience for your clients as well as for yourself.
Steps to becoming a web host reseller
Youâ€™ve decided to get a reseller web hosting account to resell web space. What now? Hereâ€™s a step-by-step guide.
1. Choose the platform you want to use.
More open source software programs are available for Linux than for Windows, which makes Linux less expensive. While most programs (Perl, PHP, Flash, etc.) run on both platforms, a few run on only Windows or Linux. A site that requires ASP or MS Access, for example, requires a Windows platform.
2. Choose the control panel you want to use.
Control panels for websites range from very basic to loaded with features. As a reseller, youâ€™ll also have a control panel for you to set up and control hosting accounts.
In Choosing Your Hosting Automation Software, we compare several control panels, all of which offer good features for web host resellers.
3. Choose your web host.
The web host company that you choose for your reseller account is a key decision â€” your business success depends on the quality of your host. Factors to consider when choosing a web host for a reseller account:
*The platform and control panel
*The companyâ€™s reputation â€” search for online reviews by clients
*The record of server uptime
*The level of support â€” how fast does tech support respond to support requests, especially time-sensitive ones?
*Flexibility â€” does the web host have packages that allow you to upgrade when your needs increase? Will they customize plans if necessary?
*How long the web host has been in business â€” while a new web host may be very good, many web hosting businesses fail within the first year
*Price â€” consider what is included in the price
*Get Started with reseller hosting.
4. Set up your hosting plans and prices
Divide your bandwidth by your disk space to find out the ratio of bandwidth to disk space that you can offer. Take into account any ratios that differ if you upgrade to a larger package, and then base your packages on that ratio.
For pricing, consider what competitors charge, but also factor in any additional services youâ€™ll be offering.
5. Develop a business website
You have three main choices for website development:
Create a website using an existing website template
*Hire a designer or a design company to design your site for you
*If you have web design skills, design your site yourself
*Include all the information that clients will want to know about your services and company.
6. Make your site e-commerce ready
To be able to accept payments for hosting accounts, youâ€™ll to set up:
*An SSL certificate
*A merchant account
*A payment gateway
7. Set up a helpdesk
A helpdesk allows clients to contact you with support requests and you to track and respond to those requests.
8. Set up billing
With an automated billing system, clients are billed and payments are registered with little effort on your part. Most billing software licenses are priced per month or per year, with some billing software companies offering prices for lifetime licenses.
Some popular billing and payment processing systems:
When you choose a billing software program, check if itâ€™s compatible with your server platform and if support is included.
9. Create a welcome email
After you set up hosting accounts for your clients, youâ€™ll need to send them a welcome email. Include in this email:
*A confirmation of the plan details
*The nameserver names
*A username and temporary password
*A link to the control panel
*Links to your knowledge base / FAQ and to your helpdesk
10. Market your website
Submit your site to search engines. Tell your family, friends, and business acquaintances about your website. Include a link to it in your signature line in outgoing emails. But donâ€™t stop there â€” market your website http://www.marketingcontrolpanel.com via incoming links, advertising, newsletters, and special offers.