How to become a web hosting provider (it’s easier than you think)
Web hosting is normally a service you’ll buy just for your own use, but sometimes it pays to think bigger.
If you’re running your own business, for instance, perhaps as a developer or web designer, offering web space as an extra service to your customers could make a lot of sense.
Many web hosting services offer reseller schemes where you can buy a block of resources – disk space, bandwidth, a number of cPanel accounts – to divide and sell in any way you like. Costs can be very low, sometimes just $1.40 or $2.80 a month per account, so you could bundle hosting in other business products with very little impact on your bottom line.
There are some significant issues to think about. For example, reseller hosting may look cheap, but that’s because you’ll probably have to be the first line of support for your customers. If they encounter any questions or technical difficulties, you’ll be their first port of call. You can pass anything complicated onto the web host, but they won’t deal directly with clients for you.
You will get more help in other areas. Many reseller accounts come with a free licence for WHMCS, an industry standard application to manage and automate hosting setup, billing and support. You’re usually able to customize the control panel with your own branding, and the best hosts have special reseller tutorials and support to help keep your business running smoothly.
There’s no single way to identify the best reselling plans, because this varies depending on the products you’re hoping to sell. Your first step should be to identify web hosts who provide the range of plans and support you need, and then compare whatever reselling schemes they offer.
To help you understand what to look for, we’ve listed five interesting reseller products from some top industry names. Check them out to get a feel for the features you should look for, and the prices you might expect to pay.
InMotion is a capable web host which offers a vast range of products and services, including one of the most comprehensive reseller hosting plans around.
These start simply and with minimal restrictions. The R-1000S plan costs $13.99 a month initially ($29.99 on renewal) for 80GB of disk space and 800GB of bandwidth, but there’s no limit on the number of cPanel accounts you can create, and everyone gets unlimited (within the available disk space) subdomains, email addresses, databases and FTP accounts.
Buying through TechRadar means that you will get an automatic upgrade to the R-2000S slice with 50% extra bandwidth and storage space.
Ramping up to the Reseller VPS-1000 plan gets you 4TB bandwidth, 4GB RAM and free SSL. There’s still no limit on the number of cPanel accounts you can create, and the service is priced at $41.64 a month for the first term, $54.99 on renewal.
While this is a little more expensive than some, InMotion offers plenty of extras and benefits. There’s a free licence to WHMCS, the industry standard package for managing your client’s billing and support.
A bundled eNom Domain Reseller account allows selling top-level domains and SSL certificates, and white labelling support allows you to create custom hosting packages, use anonymous name servers and apply your own branding via customizable themes.
Perhaps InMotion’s real advantage is its excellent support, something that will be very important when you’re trying to solve problems for your clients. In our experience the company offers a high quality service, although there’s no need to take our word for it: the exceptional 90-day money-back guarantee means there’s plenty of time to check it out for yourself.