The web hosting industry is massive and growing at 16 percent per year. It is expected to reach a total value of over $150 billion by 2022. Large web hosting and cloud providers dominate the industry, but there is plenty of room for smaller niche hosting providers to build a profitable hosting business.
Setting up web hosting infrastructure from scratch is expensive and complicated. Most niche hosting providers instead opt for reseller hosting. Reseller hosting takes advantage of the infrastructure and services of an existing hosting provider. The business leases a server or reseller hosting plan, which they divide into chunks to sell to customers alongside other services for a profit.
There are two main types of businesses that resell hosting.
- Web hosting providers who aim to serve a specific niche.
- Digital service providers such as development, design, and marketing agencies who offer web hosting to add value to their primary services.
Creating a reseller hosting business is not difficult, but we have written this guide to help you make the right decisions from the outset.
Choosing A Niche
Successful reseller hosting businesses operate in specific niches and tailor their products to clients within that niche. It would be difficult for a new hosting provider to compete with ServerMania. But they can take advantage of our server hosting platform to provide hosting for their chosen niche.
What counts as a niche for reseller hosting? It can be any market segment with similar requirements. One approach is to market hosting with particular qualities: high-performance hosting, SEO hosting, managed hosting, and so on.
Another approach is to focus on the needs of a group of related individuals or businesses: hosting for hairdressers, real estate agents, manufacturers, travel bloggers, game reviewers, photographers – the list of possible niches is endless.
How to Find a Hosting Provider for Your Reseller Hosting Business
To resell hosting, you need to lease infrastructure and other services from an established hosting provider. There is a vast array of hosting providers to choose from, ranging from shared hosting to virtual server hosting to dedicated server hosting.
For any but the smallest reseller operations, shared hosting is probably not the right fit. Shared hosting is the easiest to get started with, but it is also the least flexible option. It gives you the least control, the least scalability, the fewest resources, and is often more expensive than server hosting over the long-term.
Virtual and dedicated server hosting is excellent for reseller hosting. They allow the reseller to divide resources as they see fit, to install any software they need, and to exercise complete control over their platform.
Did You Know? ServerMania has hundreds of customers who resell our services every day. Businesses love the fact that they can quickly and easily customize a server with us and have it rapidly deployed, so they can focus on growing their business. Contact us today to learn more.
Hybrid Servers vs. Dedicated Servers for Reseller Hosting
A virtual server, sometimes called a Hybrid Server, provides a complete hosting environment. From the perspective of the reseller, a virtual server behaves just like a physical server. In reality, several virtual servers run in software on a physical server.
Virtual servers are an economical option for reselling a number of hosting plans. Our Hybrid Server range is capable of supporting many moderately busy WordPress sites or ecommerce stores, for example.
Dedicated servers are single-tenant physical servers. Each dedicated server has one user and offers substantially more resources than other hosting types. A high-end dedicated server can easily support dozens of client websites.
Managed vs. Unmanaged Hosting
Do you want to manage the server that powers your reseller hosting business? Maintaining, securing, and configuring a server takes time. Learning how to manage a server is also time-consuming. When you manage your server, you are responsible for resolving issues that arise with the software you install.
Some hosting resellers choose to manage their servers because they value complete control. Those who would instead focus on growing their business and serving their clients may opt for managed hosting. With managed hosting, your hosting provider takes care of tasks such as operating system updates, monitoring, and issue resolution.
Before choosing a reseller hosting provider, take a look at their managed hosting plans. Make sure they offer the level of support and service that matches your needs and knowledge.
Reseller hosting clients can configure and manage client hosting accounts in two ways. They can use the command line, or they can use a web hosting control panel.
The command line is a flexible and powerful interface. In addition to issuing commands editing configuration files, command-line shells can be scripted to carry out commands automatically. The downsides of the command line are that it is complicated and challenging to learn.
Web hosting control panels are web applications that are used to manage servers via a graphical interface. It is much easier to manage a web hosting service with a web control panel such as cPanel or Plesk, both of which provide tools for creating and administering client web hosting accounts.
Your reseller hosting provider or server host will install and set up a web control panel for you. At ServerMania, we offer cPanel/WHM and a variety of Plesk licenses on all dedicated and virtual servers.
In addition to a server and a control panel, you need some way to administer client accounts, including payments. The dominant application in this field is WHMCS, a web hosting automation platform that integrates with web hosting control panels and provides invoicing, payments, tax functionality, and a variety of other tools.
Once you’ve chosen your hosting provider, ordered a server with a control panel, and installed WHMCS, you can configure the software to automatically create shared and reseller hosting plans using cPanel as soon as a client makes payment. WHMCS also allows clients to contact you for support or upgrade their plan at the click of a button.
As you can see, the technical aspects of setting up a reseller hosting business aren’t as complicated as you might have feared. To summarize, you will need the following:
- A server with sufficient resources to support your clients’ sites.
- A web hosting control panel to manage the server.
- A billing and account administration tool such as WHMCS.
- An optional server management plan if you would rather your hosting provider manages the server.
If you want to build an online business, reseller web hosting is a relatively inexpensive way to get started. If you already run a development, design, or marketing business, hosting helps you to add value and attract more clients. Every business needs a website and most don’t want to have to deal with it themselves. Book a server consultation with us today to learn more about starting your own reseller hosting business.
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