Choosing the best web hosting for your own website is a tough and often all too confusing process in general.
It’s even tougher considering that when you are evaluating a Reseller Hosting provider – a business that can directly affect your clients (and your reputation).
Yes, you could sign up for a web hosting plan for your client, but you lose out on one thing that web hosting offers. A reoccurring income that comes with using a reseller hosting plan.
After all, as a web designer, the client typically looks towards you for support and maintenance. By adding reseller hosting to your offering, you white-label web hosting and become a one-stop-shop for your client’s needs.
In many respects, reseller web hosting is very similar to shared web hosting. It’s set up the same except you are goto to the company for customer service and support.
So as a web designer if you are looking for a way to increase your bottom line, one of these resellers should be best for you.
Based on my experience working with many hosting providers, there are a few that are a good fit for most people.
Popular Reseller Hosting Companies
|A2 Hosting||8.5/10||Learn More|
|InMotion Hosting||9.0/10||Learn More|
Considerations for Choosing The Best Reseller Hosting
Hosting companies all have different strengths and weaknesses. The core product of a Reseller Hosting account is straightforward. It’s a dedicated portion of a server that you are allowed to sell & bill separately directly to your clients. The upsides are that:
- You get “value-added” recurring revenue for your business (aka, you money every month for selling hosting services to your clients).
- Your clients get reliable hosting with a known point of contact (you) without additional technical work for yourself.
- You get “free” technical support so that you can focus on selling your services.
- You can keep a clean division between your client accounts so that they are secure, stable, and professionally managed.
- Your clients maintain their account freedoms while you maintain the freedom to change or untangle your business seamlessly.
- You have access to automated billing & management software.
The downsides are that:
- Your reputation is dependent on your hosting partner’s performance.
- You have to work with a support team to solve problems.
- There is more expense compared running your client’s sites on your own servers.
- As far as your clients are concerned, you are in the hosting business whether you like it or not.
Here are some of the considerations that are factored into the quiz.
Type of Company
Do you want an established brand that is part of a large company? Or do you want a smaller, independent company? There is no right answer. Usually, large companies have more resources for discounts and more support channels. Independent companies usually have a more personal touch and are focused on investing over cost-cutting. And newer, cloud based providers have simply interfaces and quick deployment….but you also need them to be around as long as you are in business.
Bandwidth is how much data can be transferred to and from your server. Think of it like the size of the pipe running to your server. Your server needs to be fast, but if it’s sending & receiving many files (ie, many website visitors), then it’s also going to need plenty of bandwidth to serve visitors. This feature is particularly important for resellers. You have to do the math and think about the types of clients you serve. If you have a single bandwidth hungry client, you’ll need to work on your pricing and feature set.
Every one wants good customer service. But providing solid customer support costs money. And remember that as a reseller, you are basically the middleman between your client and the hosting company. If you are a DIY type who is comfortable troubleshooting and Googling, you might value pricing and performance more than having several channels of support. Think about what support channels you want. Do you want to be able to talk on the phone? Do you want chat & email? Do they need to be responsive on Twitter? What about a self-help knowledgebase?
RAM & Resources
Random Access Memory (RAM) does not necessarily determine site speed & server performance, but it is a primary variable. The more RAM that you have, the more files the server can serve – and the more code it can crunch. Think about what applications you are running & how they behave under traffic.
A large ecommerce site or web app will require more RAM than a publishing site with few plugins. Like bandwidth, think about the types of clients you have and how their websites behave (and how you can build them better)
Disk-Storage & Account Limits
How many clients will you have now and in the future? How many files do you need to store on your server? This may or may not be a huge issue if you are storing your largest files with a media provider (ie, audio or video files). But if you have a lot of imagery and internal resources, you’ll need to consider this number in your budget.
cPanel & Reseller Account Features
cPanel is the industry-standard “backend” of a server. It’s very common among shared hosting providers. It allows easy access to the server for non-developers. While it’s bundled with nearly all shared hosting plans, it’s usually an add-on for reseller servers. Be sure to consider it (along with other features) to get “apples to apples” pricing.
Additionally, WHMCS is industry-standard hosting account management software. A license can be expensive if you have several clients. Be sure to factor it in when shopping. There are also other smaller features like eNom reseller software for domains. Make sure you have the setup that *you* want and need.
Speed & Performance
There are tons of variables that go into website speed, but a Reseller provider should provide plenty of resources & features to handle high-traffic websites quickly. After all, your reputation is your hosting provider’s performance. You’re in the “hosting” business now.
Discounts & Pricing
How important is getting a good deal? Sometimes it’s worth paying more if performance or customer support is a priority, but sometimes pricing beats them both.
How long are you willing to sign on? Many reseller hosting providers offer deep signup discounts if you can commit for a year or more. Some charge per year of use. Some create a hybrid.
User-friendliness & Server Management
Some customers value a clean, well-designed account area. Some customers do not really care what the buttons look like as long as all the features are there. And some customers don’t really care compared to other factors like price or performance. And some want a developer-friendly setup with staging and integrated developer tools.
- Guide To Increased Website Speed – my guide that looks at strategy rather than random tools.
- Best VPS Hosting Providers – if you don’t think you’ll need a reseller account, here’s where to start for VPS servers.
- What is Reseller Hosting? – an explainer that I put together.
- Web Hosting, Explained – a short guide explaining the ins and outs of hosting.