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 existing web hosting companies. The business leases a server or reseller hosting plan, which they divide into chunks to sell to customers alongside their own services, creating a side revenue that can be nurtured to grow into a profitable business.
Why Start Your Own Web Hosting Business?
If you are a web developer, perform web design, are a digital marketer, or run an agency, chances are you are always looking for new revenue streams and likely thinking about how to start a web hosting company. You are well-known in your local market, many small businesses already know who you are and you have a knack for customer acquisition and service.
Often web hosting services are big faceless conglomerates, managed somewhere far away. This allows an opening for small business owners in starting a hosting business. By selling on service and your reputation to local businesses, you will surely generate new clients and new customers.
Creating your own web 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 niche markets and tailor their products to clients within that niche. It would be difficult for new web hosting companies 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 services? 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 one of the established web hosting businesses. There is a vast array of hosting providers to choose from, ranging from shared hosting to virtual server hosting to dedicated server hosting.
For anyone 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 private server, sometimes called a Hybrid Server, provides a complete hosting environment. From the perspective of the reseller, a virtual private server behaves just like a physical server. In reality, a virtual machine runs 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. Dedicated hosting on a server has one user and offers substantially more 'dedicated' resources than other hosting types. A high-end dedicated server can easily support dozens of client websites.
Managed vs. Unmanaged Hosting
When it comes to account management, you have the option of whether or not you wish to manage the account yourself or have your web hosting company provide a web host manager. Maintaining, securing, and configuring a server takes time. Learning how to manage your own server is also time-consuming. When you manage your server, you are responsible for resolving issues that arise with the software you install and are responsible for providing customer support to your existing clients.
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 a managed server. Many opt for a managed server where your web hosting provider takes care of tasks such as operating system updates, monitoring, and issue resolution. It might be a little more money, but well worth having a professional deal with issue management instead of you.
Before choosing a web hosting business as your provider, take a look at ServerMania's managed hosting plans. Make sure the hosting company that you choose has a strong support team in place, ensuring 24/7 technical support while providing the service that matches your needs and technical knowledge.
With your reseller account, web 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 and 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 web hosting business 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 and billing system that integrates with web hosting control panels and provides invoicing, payments, tax functionality, and a variety of other tools.
Once you’ve chosen your provider, created a hosting account, 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 both you and your web hosting clients access, where they can contact you for support or upgrade their plan at the click of a button.
Have questions? Learn more about our Reseller Hosting Solutions
Creating a Hosting Package
By renting or leasing a server, you now have the capacity to develop a variety of options that you can offer, depending on your client's needs. These are referred to as 'pricing plans'. When you do this, you need to take into account your client's requirements, such as bandwidth, maximum number of email accounts, and disk quota. Your web hosting services should offer at least three levels of service and you can give them titles like Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Once you have done that, you need to have a website to market your services. If you are managing the server yourself, you can use the FTP client or cPanel to upload your website to your reseller hosting account.
As you can see, the technical aspects of setting up a reseller hosting business aren’t as complicated as you might have feared. By going the reseller route, ServerMania takes all of the difficulty away by already having all of the infrastructures already in place for your own hosting company.
To summarize, you will need the following for your own web hosting company:
- 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 web hosting business provider manage the server.
- A marketing strategy to create awareness for your reseller business
- Hosting packages for various levels of your service offering
If you want to build your own hosting business, reseller web hosting is a relatively inexpensive way to get started. If you are a web developer, perform web design, or own a marketing business operating in niche markets, 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.Check out our reseller program today and book a consultation to learn more about starting your own reseller hosting business.
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