Web Hosting Reseller
Become a Web Host Provider
Web Hosting is a preferred Online Business Opportunity!
What is Web Hosting?
Before I get into being a web-hosting reseller I think it is important to clarify what Web-Hosting is. If you are reading this, then I can only assume that you know what a website is and how to browse the internet. In its basic form, a Website consists of numerous webpage’s containing information you want to share online. In order for your website to be accessible online, all the files that make up your website must be installed on a computer that has a permanent connection to the Internet. Such a computer is known as a Web-Server and these computers are specially configured to make websites accessible to people browsing the World Wide Web (WWW). So, Web Hosting is in essence the space allocated for your website on a Web Server. If you are still uncertain what Web Hosting is, then read this article: Web Hosting Service (WikiPedia).
Although you could use your own computer as a Web Server, the recommended practice is to use the services of an Internet Service Provider (ISP) who’s Web Servers are specially configured and maintained to ensure your website is always available.
[Note] Web Hosting is the storing of your website on a Web Server, making it publicly accessible! [/Note]
An Internet Service Provider or ISP is a company that provides a variety of Internet Services, one of which is Web Hosting. Other services could include e-mail mailboxes, internet connectivity and domain name registration, to name a few.
What is a Web Hosting Reseller?
A Web Hosting Reseller is someone (person or business) that purchases or leases a large amount of space on an ISP’s Web Server and then sells this space on to his/her own clients. Basically, you get bulk space, which you then break down into smaller packages (with less space allocated) and then you sell these smaller packages on to your clients at a profit.
Example Web Hosting Scenario:
- You purchase 40GB of space on the ISP’s Web-Server for R200 per Month.
- You split this into 4x smaller packages of 10GB each.
- You resell this space to your clients at R90 per Month (each).
- You profit R160 in this Scenario!
As you get more clients, you simply increase the amount of space you require on the ISP’s Server. The beauty in this is; the more space you end up leasing from the ISP, the cheaper the space gets and the more profitable this becomes.
How to become a Web-Hosting Reseller?
Ok, so now you know the basics of what it is to be a Web Hosting Reseller, so I guess it’s time to share how you go about doing it.
Firstly you need to find a Web Hosting Company or ISP that offers Reseller Accounts. A Reseller Account will allow you to host other people’s websites within your own Reseller Hosting Package. Once you have found a suitable Web Hosting Company and have signed up as a Reseller you have to decide on the size of the packages (hosting plans) you are going to offer and what you are going to charge for these hosting plans.
Remember, as a Reseller, this is your own business and you can configure and charge what you want for your packages. Web Hosting is a very competitive market so you will have to do some research as to what is being charged by other hosting companies and resellers. Simply compare specifications and then price fairly – remember that Add-on Services can also affect pricing!
eg. I include FREE WordPress installation with new Hosting Packages (if required).
Note: The Hosting Company you sign up with may be able to assist you with setting up smaller packages and suggest pricing guidelines. They don’t all offer this, but don’t be afraid to ask…
Personally, I use both HostGator.com and Akooka.com to provide me with the necessary services to run my web hosting business (Futurity Web). HostGator.com is one of the worlds largest ISP’s which specialises in Web Hosting Services and they have fantastic Reseller Account Packages and very competitive rates. HostGator.com is located in the USA and they provide 24-hour support via Telephone, e-mail and LiveChat. Online Video Tutorials are also available to teach you the necessary skills you may require.
[Alert] Word of Caution: I would suggest you do your pricing research before signing up with any ISP or Web Hosting Company as a reseller. Don’t learn the hard way, as I did! I signed up with an ISP whose reseller packages seemed great, but once I broke the packages into smaller chunks, my smaller packages were over-priced compared to the industry norm in my target market area. [/Alert]
Other than the two Reseller Hosting Providers I use, you could also try BlueHost.com, which is highly recommended, Site5.com or VodaHost.com. Together with HostGator.com I believe all these companies have good reseller offerings, so it’s best to see who has what on offer when you are ready. These companies are continuously running special deals to compete with one another, so you should compare prices of the reseller plans and most importantly compare features (i.e. what you get or don’t get).
cPanel & WHM
All the mentioned reseller hosting companies on this page include the WHM & cPanel Control Panel tools, which are essential in your running your Web Hosting Business. For now, you don’t need to know what these are or how they work, but know that you do need them. If you decide to sign-up as a reseller with any other ISP; make sure that they provide you with WHM & cPanel Control Panel.
Another important factor to consider is the ability to provide WordPress Hosting. Usually, if the reseller company provides cPanel, it also provides WordPress, but this is not always the case, so check. I make mention of WordPress since it is the fastest growing website development tool available and is an essential service to provide.
Website Builder Tools & Free Website Templates
Several Web Host Resellers will provide some form of Website Builder for your clients to use to help them build their own website. Personally, I loath these tools since clients don’t realise how much work is required to build a decent website using these tools, but they are handy to have as a marketing tool.
Free Website Templates are again, great for marketing purposes, but for the most part, the end-user (your client) is going to need a website designer to implement these – Another opportunity for you?
The Beauty about Web Hosting…
In most cases, once people have found a reliable Web Hosting Company (this being you), they seldom move on, unless you seriously disappoint them. The reason for this is because there is ‘pain involved’ to move to another hosting company. For a client to move to another provider they run the risk of their website and/or e-mail services being unavailable for a period of time. In today’s world nobody wants to endure this pain unless it is absolutely necessary. Another advantage is that if a client doesn’t pay you for their hosting services, you simply disable their hosting account and display an Account Suspended notification on the page where their website would usually be. Again, how many companies will allow this to occur (I give my clients until the 14th of every month to pay, before suspending an account). It does happen, but not that often…
Support plays an important role within a Web Hosting Company and you will be responsible for supporting your own clients. It is up to you whether you want to provide 24-hour support or not, but it is not essential. Yes, in case of an emergency, a client might disturb you after hours, but if your reseller provider company is any good, this should be minimal. Another way to ensure that you don’t get harassed at all hours is to only target clients within your local area (i.e. same time zone). Adjust your prices accordingly if you are/aren’t going to provide 24-hour support. Server-Side Support will be handled by your Reseller Provider, but this is not end-user support (i.e. they support you, not your client).
General Web-Hosting Information
- Hosting Fees in South Africa are generally more expensive, than in the USA and often it is preferred to use the services of International Hosting Providers, like HostGator.com, Site5.com, BlueHost.com and/or VodaHost.com. In some instances you may have clients that insist on having there website hosted on local servers and in this case it is handy to have a local reseller account (Akooka.com).
- Being a Web Hosting Reseller does require some technical skill and the more involved you get, the greater the learning curve but then there’s always something to learn in any new business. If you’re committed it’s NOT that hard to learn. Remember: Support is Available!
Become a Web Hosting Affiliate
If the whole idea of being a Web-Hosting Provider intimidates you, The GOOD NEWS is:
You don’t have to be a Reseller to make money from Web hosting. All the Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) mentioned here offer Web Hosting Affiliate Programmes, where you can simply sign-up as an Affiliate FOR FREE and then earn commission for referring clients as you would with any other Affiliate Programme. Payouts are Once-Off payouts, so you will have to continuously refer clients to make any serious money, but they can be decent one-off payments. eg. VodaHost.com is currently offering $70 per referral (at date of writing)!
For those of you that take this leap, enjoy being a Web Hosting Reseller!
This is how I started my primary business which now provides:
Web Hosting, Website Design (WordPress/HTML), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) & other IT Services.