Do you think you have what it takes to become a web hosting reseller? From my experience, I would say it can be a rewarding and profitable venture. However, you have to know how to attract and keep your customers because it is a competitive industry.
I tell all my colleagues or clients who are interested in becoming a web host reseller the same thing. That is, you may fill a variety of roles as a web and host provider. For instance, you might set up, manage and operate domains as well as emails and back-end website functions.
Each hosting service consists of unique features. The expertise you provide to clients depends on a variety of factors including experience, training and interests as well as available equipment. Here are some opportunities to consider.
Start a reseller hosting company – This usually is the easiest type of hosting service to offer. I typically refer to this as “shared hosting,” and it is what usually is provided to people who may need a simple portfolio site. However, it could involve selling domains, email and e-commerce services. A number of clients will have access to their own product control panel. However, they might need help from you during the website, email or hosting setup and update process.
Become a virtual private server provider – I think of VPS servers as a “VIP” option that is more advanced than shared hosting because users get their own server space. At the same time, it may still offer some of the same benefits (ex: one-click blog software or autoresponders) often included with shared hosting plans. If you sell VPS subscriptions, you offer private control of at least a part of server resources. However, hosting clients might still share server CPU and RAM but not require their own secure server hardware.
Offer host server management services – I would describe dedicated server management as maybe a step more advanced than VPS hosting. In this case, you would sell clients access to use of resources run by a data center. This gives subscribers of this hosting plan total control of a single server that is maintained and managed elsewhere. You also have the option of acquiring your own server and finding a datacenter for it, which would allow you the most freedom to provide as customized of hosting plans as you want.
I will probably provide more details on how to set up a hosting business in future articles. For now, the following points explains various challenges and steps you may need to face and take along the way:
•Learn as much as possible about web hosting technology. This includes acquiring as much knowledge as possible about the back end and front end of website hosting, servers, email and domain management. Make sure you also anticipate any issue your customers may have. Learn how to set up hosting products for them as well.
•Buy reliable equipment and use the right ISP. You will need as high-performing of a computer as you can afford. If you can acquire more than one and can access information securely from multiple locations, that’s even better. I also suggest the best and speediest internet service available in your area. Be choosy about what server equipment you buy as well.
•Select the right web host. Make sure it supports the servers and operating systems that your primary clientele would use. This, for instance, might include Linux and Windows support as well as datacenter access. It also helps if they have cPanel, Plesk, WHMCS or other hosting and website management tools.
•Set your prices and stick to them. Draw up contract terms, and make sure you include costs determined for the set of services your clients want. This agreement may also include additional terms and conditions concerning payments, cancellations, refunds and more.
•Make sure you are ready for your customers. Offer support via a helpdesk, email, phone, chat, social media, or in as many ways as you can. This requires 24/7/365 dedication, so maybe think of having someone cover a day off for you too. Make sure your staff is as dedicated as you though. Otherwise, you could lose unhappy customers.
•Promote your business like crazy. Advertise using as many promotional venues as you can. This could include pay-per-click ads, video explainers, or affiliate blog posting. It also may require a consistent social media presence and content that teaches clients about different hosting options. A free offer or discount could also entice them to sign up for your services.
Setting up a reseller hosting company may seem easier if you already have experience in the field. You have no need to worry, however. With the right expert training, the learning curve of hosting or server management can be shortened.