Unpacking Reseller Web Hosting
Unpacking Reseller Web Hosting
You can start your own web hosting business. That is what re-seller web hosting is all about. Resellers buy a hosting plan, re-package the content and further sell them down to third-party users. Reseller hosting is attractive because good resellers can earn a neat profit with a minimal up-front capital commitment since they do not need to incur hardware costs.
However, it is not as straightforward as it sounds. Beneath the surface, a lot goes into a successful reselling venture and is discussed as follows.
Web hosting, for the most part, is a low-margin business. What successful web hosting is contingent on is high volume. Reselling business is no exception. Models that are commonly used are either commission based or recurring income. A commission based model is usually easier to implement – the re-seller gets paid by the parent host company for every customer that joins the parent server. This works well for the parent host as they are, in effect, outsourcing the advertising.
Recurring income model requires a significant amount of value to be added on the reseller’s part. It comes close to running your own web hosting business, without some of the downsides. There is a fair amount of technological and marketing acumen required. A reseller adopting this model would typically offer additional services such as web design, search engine optimization, billing support and so on. As a result, recurring income models end up having a higher margin. They are also a great way to learn before bootstrapping your own full-fledged web hosting business.
Of course, there also hybrid models where the commission received is recurring, not to mention the free reseller offerings.
The Technology: Control Panels and Operating Systems
Linux-driven hosting solutions are pretty much the market standard. As an operating system, Linux is innately more secure and was also designed specifically to cater to multiple users. The usual reseller hosting scheme that companies provide is thus cPanel and WHM. Based on Linux, cPanel web hosting interface is a three-tiered system design – root (intended for the web hosting supplier itself), reseller and end-user website owner.
One of the finest web hosting control panel user interfaces that permit you to resell website hosting accounts using your dedicated hosting server or virtual hosting server is indeed cPanel. DirectAdmin is not a bad alternative either, depending on which hosting control panel fulfils your requirements better.
Most virtual private server hosts and dedicated hosts usually do not have an issue with reselling hosting accounts. Reselling of hosting accounts that avail a dedicated web server offers total control over even the physical machine with the ability to implement any configuration and greater visibility over the customers hosted on the server. While virtual private servers are quite good themselves, something like a kernel level modification is usually not possible.
What Is In It For The Client?
Packages offered by reseller are often slightly more expensive to purchase than a shared host plan. However, they are still cheaper than dedicated hosts while offering several advantages of a dedicated host.
For example, maintenance is taken care of by the reseller and the parent host while still providing the flexibility to micro-manage your website. Having the ability to customise resource and bandwidth allocation is a great asset for clients’ to meet their scaling needs. Thus, reseller packages are well-suited for those with websites that generate heavy traffic or for clients looking to operate multiple websites without having to sign-up for several hosting packages.
Additional features that resellers offer to sweeten the deal could prove to be useful in the long-run. With more powerful control panels than shared hosts can provide, website management becomes easier. In addition to a powerful control panel, many resellers also offer unlimited secure sockets layer (SSL) usage with each reseller account. With the client not required to bother with server upkeep, it becomes possible to direct energy to other areas of website and business development.
Reselling offers a great way to venture into the web hosting business. While the market is seemingly saturated, Internet accessibility is on a rampant rise and website hosting is here to stay. While reselling has largely been the domain of web developers and systems integrators, the learning curve is not too steep for most with basic technological understanding. A great parent host could pay rich dividends by offsetting any lacunae in knowledge.
It takes more than good programming skills to be a reseller – after all, resellers have to be great salesmen too. Reseller hosts are candid in their offerings to stay ahead of the curve and that is where their true value lies. A good reseller deal presents a win-win for all parties involved in the transaction. While it might be tricky to get a grip over the variety at offer, keeping some of the fundamental points mentioned in the article should make it easier for someone looking to become a reseller or a client.