Everything you need to know about Reseller Web Hosting

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What is It?

The simplest definition is that you buy a ‘reseller hosting plan’ or a dedicated server.  You then start your own company, selling web hosting to other people.

That sounds simple…isn’t it more complicated?

Reseller web hosting refers to selling any kind of web hosting.  However, it usually refers to an individual person or small hosting company that buys a dedicated server or a ‘small reseller web hosting plan’.  Then that person or business sets up a hosting company so that they can sell hosting to other people.  It doesn’t matter if you are a sole business person with one dedicated server or a very large company with thousands of servers – the principle is the same.

Why should I start reseller web hosting?

If you already have a have a website with traffic, or better still, a web design business, then you also have a ready-made client base who need hosting for the websites that you are building for them.  It makes perfect sense to encourage them to buy that hosting from you instead of another company.  This allows you to offer a complete package to people, which is very attractive, especially to people who really are not internet savvy.  There are also many other potential customers who just don’t have the time to hunt for a web builder as well as a host – so make it easy for them!  Hosting their site also keeps the communication channels open so that if they wish to build other sites, you are there – ready and willing!

It’s also a good idea for anyone who wants to start their own business but doesn’t have much start-up capital.

Other good reasons…

It brings in a steady income

There is a huge market because so many people want their own website

If you give it some thought, you can find a niche market that has little competition

This means that even if you’re a sole trader or a small company, you can compete with bigger companies.

So how could I make money as a Reseller Host?

Here is an example –

Step One: Buy a reseller web hosting package that has 1,000 MB of disk space and 1,000 MB of bandwidth.  Let’s say that this package costs you $15.00 each month.

Step Two: Break this package down into 10 separate accounts, each with 100 MB of disk space and 100MB of bandwidth.

Step Three: Sell these ten packages to your customers.  If you sell each one for a ‘rental’ of $10.00 per month, you would be bringing in $100.00 each month and your outlay would be $15.00 so you would have a monthly profit of $85.00.  Not bad, eh?

Even large, well known web hosting companies resell hosting.  They bulk buy space or rent servers from companies bigger than themselves and then sell the hosting to you.  Even multi million dollar companies can own or rent servers for reselling.

But how can I compete with million dollar companies?

You can’t – on their terms – because they spent a fortune in advertising, focus on a large community and have enough of a cash flow to wait to recoup that outlay.

So, if you’re a one man band or a small company, you need to find a way to make your hosting different from all of the other web hosting companies.

Small is beautiful

The secret is to find a niche market of people who want websites that are specific to their needs.  Let’s say you decide that you’ll provide hosting specifically for people researching their family trees.  Visit a few genealogy forums and see what’s already available and what these folk offer.  Is there anything that people are asking for on the forums, that isn’t already available?  Start making a list of these things so that you can supply them.

Posting on related forums is a great way of advertising and is obviously the right place as it’s read by your target market – but do be careful as many forums have rules about spammers and cold sellers.  However, it only takes a few people to start signing up to your hosting and then word will spread.

Support tips

1. Make life easy on yourself.  Try to go for a niche market where the clients won’t be technical experts.  That way, they are unlikely to install lots of complicated scripts onto their site that they may want you to help them with.

2. The easiest clients are the ones that upload something and then it just sits there.  This obviously includes genealogists (although they will update) but also think about graphics hosting along the lines of Photobucket etc.

3. Or, you could choose a type of shopping cart and offer sites that have that feature already installed for your customers.  In reseller web hosting, it’s better to be a ‘master of one trade’ than a ‘jack of all’.

4. If you are a small concern, your reputation is very valuable and can make or break you, so look after it well.  When you are small, it’s easier to offer personalized, strong customer service which will pay dividends.  Praise is good advertising!

I can’t think of any niche markets…

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Websites offering ready-made blogging facilities for people in your local area

Sites geared up for specific games

Websites for families or family members such as grandparents or teens

Image hosting such as for eBay or just for picture collections

If none of the above appeals, think of something that you are very passionate about…duck keeping, collecting autographs, organizing, crafts…

Once you have a shortlist, do an internet search to see what’s already available.  If the market is swamped, move on.  This is about being different and standing out from the crowd.

Reseller Web hosting if you have a dedicated server

Some people already have their own server – often acquired to play online games with their friends.  If this is you, then you are in an ideal position to sell web hosting.  Or, you could do it the other way around and sell web hosting and use that income to buy the server.  Either way, it will bring in an income – and you will get your own server for your own use too.

Being a reseller web host is a good way to bring in a regular income.  Make sure that what you offer is easy to maintain and as unique as possible – but be open to customer suggestions and offer great customer service…and you could be onto a winner.  There are a lot of companies out there offering reseller packages so spend a long time doing your homework for the best deal before you start.  Good luck!

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