Web Hosting Tips | HostGator Blog

HostGator Blog!

Web Hosting Made Easy!

  • What is Reseller Hosting? Top 10 FAQs

    Wednesday, June 29, 2016 by

    What Is Reseller Hosting

    Because web development and designing is in such high demand (since every company needs a website), business is booming in the web hosting industry particularly in the arena of reseller hosting. 

    Entrepreneurs and business owners are leveraging on this growth opportunity by starting their own reseller hosting company to either supplement or create a full-income flow to their brand.  It is becoming well-adopted because of its low initial costs and overall simplicity in getting started.

    Are you a web designer and looking to add another source of income to your firm?  Or perhaps you’re looking for ways to make money online and curious to know what is reseller hosting and how you can turn this into a business opportunity?

    Whatever the reason for your search, we compiled the top ten frequently asked questions regarding reseller hosting and how you can turn this into an additional income stream.

    FAQ #1: What is reseller hosting?

    Reseller web hosting is an option that involves one company (a hosting provider) renting hard drive space and bandwidth to another company (small-mid size business), who then rents the space to third parties (entrepreneurs-small business).  Simply put, reseller hosting is the ability to provide hosting to your own clients as if you yourself were the web hosting company.  This is typical for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start their own web hosting firm or for current web developers and designers who desire to add additional services to their brand.

    FAQ #2: How does reseller hosting work?

    Here are the (perhaps over-simplified) steps to establishing a reseller business:

    1) Research and select a hosting company

    2) Purchase the reseller package that meets the goals of your business

    3) Know and understand your target market to locate your new customers

    4) Create your own branded hosting packages

    5) Decide your price

    6) Sell hosting packages to your clients

    7) Earn profit

    FAQ #3: What are the benefits to reseller hosting?

    Taking advantage of reseller hosting offers incredible benefits to your new or existing brand.  As a reseller you’ll:

    • Get to act as a hosting company - make money hosting and creating websites
    • Easily make profits
    • Design your own hosting plans and packages that are tailored to your own business and clients
    • Host and bill your customers using your unique brand
    • Make independent cPanel control panels for each of your clients
    • Save money with its low initial start-up costs with the opportunity to upgrade later

    FAQ #4: How can I become an entrepreneur and make money with this?

    Reseller plans are designed for you to earn money and are often the least expensive and easiest way to start a hosting business.  By using one control panel, this option lets you set up, manage, and operate the back-end of websites, emails and domain management for your business as well as your clients. 

    Many customers may not have the expertise or background in this area and will be completely dependent on you for setup and changes to their service…allowing you, the reseller, to charge a bit more for this hands-on type of service.

    With that said, since the web hosting provider handles the servers, your focus is the profits and managing your hosting customers.  This is an easy way to start making a profit from your web hosting business right away.

    Yet as with any business venture, you must create your business plan, know your target audience, and implement a marketing strategy to reach your potential customers.

    FAQ#5 What’s included in a reseller package?

    Below are some of the common features often included in Reseller packages:

    • Disc Space
    • Bandwidth
    • Domain Hosting
    • Ability to brand your own web hosting company with the hosting provider company unknown to your client (also known as "white label")
    • Latest cPanel control panel
    • Manage your own plans and configure different accounts based on your needs
    • Pass on features to your own clients such as email, control panel, additional scripts and monitoring tools
    • Premium support (usually 24/7) offered by hosting provider

    FAQ #6: Will my clients know it’s me…or my hosting company?

    They will believe it’s you!  You see, you can run your own hosting business under your banner and brand without your clients knowing who your actual upstream hosting provider is.  This gives you total control in promoting your business with your name written all over it!

    FAQ #7: Do I need to be a hosting expert to succeed at this?

    Nope.  Your provider will handle all the backend, “dirty” work, so you can focus on building your business.  Server hardware, connectivity, network infrastructure, hardware setup and maintenance, security and updates for your servers are all addressed by your web hosting provider.   It’s a good idea to check into these things as you do your research to ensure that you’ll receive the best tech support if certain issues arise…and they likely will.

    FAQ #8: If my business grows, can I upgrade at any time?

    Absolutely…you can upgrade your reseller hosting account at any moment to expand with the demands of your business.  With HostGator, there are no contracts and a 45-day Money Back Guarantee!

    FAQ #9: How do I get started?

    To get started, you simply follow the steps outlined in FAQ#2.  The foundation to your success will lie in choosing a good reseller web hosting provider that not only meets the objectives of your business, but can provide you with consistent, reliable service and support because its your name that is on the line when dealing with your customers.  Choose wisely…which leads to the final FAQ…

    FAQ #10: How do I choose the best hosting provider?

    It’s important to know that you can offer your own customers the best possible web hosting experience prior to building your clientele.  Here are just some qualities to keep in mind when searching for your reseller web hosting service:

    • Easy to use cPanel
    • At least 1 site builder
    • Satisfaction guarantee
    • Private nameservers
    • Brandable client panel
    • 24/7/365 impeccable support
    • A 99.999% uptime guarantee
    • Fully managed services

    By the way, did we mention that HostGator have received multiple awards for our reseller hosting?

    We hope this gave you a good overview as to what reseller hosting is and ways you can leverage it as an entrepreneur to make money online.  If you have any questions or want to consider HostGator for your reseller opportunity, click here to find out more!

  • 7 Reasons Why You Should Choose WordPress For Your Website

    Tuesday, June 28, 2016 by

    WordPress Website

    When the time comes to start building your website you’re going to have a lot of options to choose from. The thought of narrowing down to a single solution can end up taking a lot of unnecessary time.

    If you’re just starting out, there’s one platform that stands above the rest. It’s a nifty little thing called WordPress. If you’ve been doing your research, then you might have stumbled across it, but aren’t sure if it’s right for you and your business needs.

    Below we identify seven reasons you might want to use WordPress for your new website.

    1. It’s Already Mobile Optimized

    Most WordPress themes are ready for the mobile web right out of the box. No need for additional customization, or investing thousands of dollars into a custom built website that’s designed to work with mobile browsers.

    Using a responsive theme will ensure your website looks great, no matter the screen size it’s displayed on. This means that as new screen sizes are introduced and become the new norms your website will be equipped to handle them, without any more work on your part.

    How easy is that? Speaking of easy…

    2. Customization is Easy

    Most themes will be easy to customize through the customization tab in the WordPress dashboard. You can get here by navigating to Appearance>Customize, and change up your theme to your liking. 

    Or, your particular theme might even have a dedicated section in the backend where you can easily customize various features.

    If you’re looking for additional functionality, then you can install one of thousands of free and premium plugins that can do almost anything you’re interested in, from increasing your SEO, to adding pop-up subscription forms, to contact pages, and much more. 

    3. There’s an Existing Support Community

    Building out your website doesn’t have to be a journey you’re going to walk alone. Since WordPress is open source, there’s a large online community of developers and people like you who use the platform every single day.

    If you have a technical issue you need to resolve, then chances are some else has had a similar problem, and the solution exists out there, all you need to do is search Google or the WordPress forums to find it. If you purchase a premium theme, then most of these come equipped with dedicated support teams to handle your tech issues as well. When you host your WordPress site with HostGator, you can talk with our support team any time of day or night.

    4. It’s Ready for SEO

    WordPress is primed to help improve your SEO efforts. Even Matt Cutts of Google is on the side of WordPress, saying, “WordPress automatically solves a ton of SEO issues.”

    If you’re gong to be executing a SEO strategy to improve your rankings, then you’re going to want to utilize WordPress. Plus, there are a variety of existing SEO plugins that can further enhance your SEO efforts.

    5. Blogging is Built-In

    WordPress began as a simple blogging platform and has since grown into a full-fledged website builder. However, blogging still remains an integral aspect of the CMS. If you’re looking to grow your site through a superb content strategy, then you’ll want WordPress handling all of the technical heavy lifting for you.

    6. It’s a Mature Platform

    WordPress is over 10 years old. Which is like 100 in Internet years. The benefit of using a more mature platform is that most of the kinks have already been worked out. You’ll also notice that since it’s been out for so long a lot of the security issues have been patched.

    Put simply, WordPress wouldn’t have thrived for as long as it has, if it wasn’t effective and useful.

    7. It’s Easy to Setup and Manage

    Most hosting platforms, including HostGator, offer a very quick and seamless WordPress installation process. This means in a single afternoon you can have your site up and running and ready to customize to your liking.

    Plus, the intuitive WordPress backend makes it easy to update your site and manage your existing content and pages. Nothing gets lost in the shuffle.

    WordPress is a great choice whether it’s your first or tenth website. It truly does “do it all,” and will continue to support your online efforts for years to come.

    When it comes to WordPress hosting, you can't go wrong with HostGator. With our shared hosting plans, you can install WordPress with a single click of your mouse, our managed WordPress hosting come with premium support customized for both novice and professional users. 

    Get Started With HostGator!

    What’s your favorite way to build a website? Please share in the comments below.

  • Do I Need a Dedicated Server for My Website?

    Monday, June 27, 2016 by
    Do I Need a Dedicated Server for my Website

    As a website owner you’re going to have a lot of questions to ask yourself, if you want your website to be successful. What will my site look like? How will I best serve my audience? What type of content will I create for my audience? And so forth.

    However, one question that commonly gets overlooked is exactly what kind of hosting you’ll need for your website. The two main types of hosting you’ll be choosing between are shared and dedicated hosting. Below we’ll dive into what these actually are, so you can decide if your website will need a dedicated server, or not.

    What is Shared Hosting?

    Shared hosting is one of the least expensive forms of web hosting available. Essentially, you’re sharing the server resources with other sites that are using the same hardware.

    This means your site is only using a portion of the total power and speed of the server. Which can lead to performance declines if other clients begin to use more server resources. For example, if you have a site that started to get a ton of traffic, this will decrease the performance of other sites on the server.

    Being cost effective, this is a common option for those who are just starting, or are keen on keeping their websites small. However, if you’re intending on growing your website and receiving large amounts of traffic, then dedicated hosting might be a better option.

    What is Dedicated Hosting?

    Dedicated hosting can be very advantageous for your website, but it does come with increased costs. Some dedicated hosting plans can run up into the hundreds of dollars per month and above. However, if you’re at a point where you need dedicated hosting, then hopefully your site is already very profitable.

    Dedicated hosting generally provides your site with greater security. On a shared server, if you’re sharing the space with a site that isn’t practicing solid security measures, then your site can also be put at risk.

    Dedicated hosting also gives you much more control over your hosting environment. This can be advantageous if you’re more technical in nature, but if you’re not, then you might want to use a dedicated server that comes equipped with a solid support staff.

    Additional features that come equipped with dedicated hosting includes greater bandwidth for increased traffic, along with greater flexibility to create the ideal hosting environment for your website.

    The Purpose of Dedicated Hosting

    Dedicated hosting exists to provide a stable, speedy, and customized hosting environment for larger websites (or sites that receive a lot of traffic). If you began on a shared hosting plan, but now are receiving complaints of slow loading speed, site performance, and functionality, then it might be time to upgrade your hosting environment.

    Dedicated hosting can also be less susceptible to hacking and other online threats, since you aren’t sharing the server with a bunch of unknown sites.

    If you want a site that is faster, more reliable, and has more advanced security features, then it might be time to upgrade to a dedicated host. If you’re happy keeping your site small, with minimal levels of traffic, then a shared hosting plan could suit your website just fine. Whichever option you choose, HostGator has hosting plans for every type of website owner, all backed by 99.9% uptime and a 45 day guarantee.

    Get Started With HostGator!

    What style of hosting do you prefer, dedicated or shared? Please share in the comments below.

  • Why “Friendly Fraud” Is the Enemy of Small Business

    Friday, June 24, 2016 by

    Friendly Fraud

    Friendly fraud, generally speaking, occurs when customers order digital or physical goods, falsely claim they never got them, and ask their credit card issuer for a chargeback. Another variety of friendly fraud is purchases made with stolen credit card numbers that look legitimate -- until the real cardholder calls in a chargeback request. If you run an online business, friendly fraud is most definitely not your friend.

    This type of fraud hits e-commerce merchants of all kinds, big and small. In fact, it’s on the rise because now that EMV controls have made it harder to commit fraud at the point of sale in the US, thieves are now shifting their sights to online shops that are more vulnerable to credit card fraud – and that includes small merchants who may think they’ve escaped fraudsters’ notice.

    How much does friendly fraud cost?

    Friendly fraud cost merchants more than $11 billion in 2012, and the problem has only grown since then. Chargebacks are rising by about 20% per year, and card-not-present merchants – those who sell online and over the phone – are particularly vulnerable.

    [bctt tweet="Friendly fraud cost merchants over $11 billion in 2012, and chargebacks are rising 20%/yr. #ecommerce" username="hostgator"]

    That’s the industry-level view. For any given merchant, a single chargeback can incur a processing fee of anywhere from $15 to $100 – and that’s just the start. Each chargeback also represents a loss of the shipped goods plus the revenue from the transaction. Worse, too many chargebacks (generally more than 1% of all transactions) can cost merchants their business if their banks cut them off. 

    What are potential signs of friendly fraud?

    Not every transaction that raises a flag is actually fraud, but you or your fraud-management partner should carefully screen transactions that fit these descriptions.

    • A customer billing address that doesn’t match the credit card billing address
    • High ticket-value purchases by a first-time customer
    • Purchases of multiple items in more than one size, color, etc. by the same buyer, especially if those purchases are made with different cards
    • Repeated attempts by the customer to enter a correct card expiration date
    • Repeated attempts by the customer to make purchases at increasing or decreasing ticket values
    • Similar credit card numbers used for a group of purchases
    • Many credit cards used to make purchases from the same IP address

    These flags can (but don’t always) mean buyers is guessing at cardholder information such as address, credit limit, or card expiration date, or they can indicate someone shopping with a list of stolen credit card numbers. 

    How E-commerce Merchants Can Fight Friendly Fraud

    If your overall sales volume is very low, you may be tempted to handle all your fraud screening yourself or in-house. This may not be the best solution, for two reasons. First, fraudsters are always refining their tactics to avoid detection, which means you’ll need to become a fraud expert in addition to running the rest of your business.

    Second, your sales volume may grow rapidly during peak times like big sales events and the holiday season, which is often a peak season for fraud, too. Those peaks can overwhelm your fraud-screening capacity and force you to choose between a sales bottleneck and increased fraud risk.

    A better option is to choose a processor with fraud protection services or hire a third-party fraud service to screen your transactions.

    If you’re using WHMCS, HostGator’s comprehensive online business solution partner, you can opt in to fraud protection services MaxMind and VariLogiX. MaxMind allows you to set the parameters you want to approve transactions, and the MaxMind system screens and scores each transaction request according to your specifications. You can set a score threshold for automatic rejection of the highest-risk orders. You can also manually review the orders MaxMind flags and set up phone verifications of flagged orders.

    VariLogiX is another option for WHMCS users. It can automatically call customers before their orders are submitted to verify their identity and the validity of the transaction. Customers enter a code shown on their order screen during the call. Contacting customers directly shows them you’re serious about protecting their identity and payment information. It can also save you the hassle and expense of fraudulent transactions. 

    Whatever fraud-protection service you choose, make sure it uses detection and predictive tools that can evolve with changes in fraud tactics. Friendly fraud may not ever go away entirely, but you can make your business less of a target by watching out for buyers who aren’t really your friends.

    Take action to secure your online business by choosing a reliable hosting provider like HostGator. Learn more about our ecommerce hosting here. 

  • 7 Key Features Every eCommerce Website Needs

    Thursday, June 23, 2016 by

    eCommerce Website

    It only takes seconds for someone to decide whether or not they like a website. It doesn't matter what awesome content or irresistible items your online store is hiding, if everything a website should have isn't visible or is nonexistent on your home page, you're going to lose potential buyers.

    A matter of seconds can make or break your e-commerce site. So grabbing your target audience's attention the moment they set eyes on your site is essential to success. But how can you be certain your site is complete with all the latest marketing techniques and key website features customers will expect to see the second they open your website? Lucky for you, we've compiled this list to make sure your business site has everything it needs.

    1. Shopping Cart, Search Bar, and Customer Login

    These three aspects are the absolute most essential features of any e-commerce store and they are always listed together at the top of the website. The little shopping basket icon you see on every business page is a necessity as it is quite impossible to own an online store without providing a way for visitors to save and check out items.

    [bctt tweet="The 3 essential aspects of any #ecommerce website? Shopping Cart, Search Bar, and Customer Login." username="hostgator"]

    If you have a quite an array of products, a search box is a must-have as it will help customers find exactly what they're looking for quickly. Also, prompting your visitors to create an account for your site is a brilliant way to keep them coming back.  Not only can they review their previous and current orders, they can create a wish list, and you can offer special deals to those who sign up, redeemable on their next purchases.

    2. Persuasive Call-to-Actions

    These little marketing details actually have a major impact on whether or not you close a sale. Merely making a call-to-action is one thing, crafting a call-to-action that customers actually act upon is a whole other ballgame.

    Without a clear and effective CTA, customers will be unsure of what they're expected to do or will simply say, "Eh, maybe later." Start by focusing in on what you want accomplished whether it be joining an email list or purchasing a specific product.  Add a hint of urgency by putting an expiration date on an offer or persuade them with a free gift for following through.

    3. Your Business Logo

    A logo is symbolic to your brand and what you represent. It is the visual image that everyone will associate your business with; it is the first impression, the "face of the company," and ultimately a critical marketing tool.

    The design, whether it's simple, complex, or just a specific font you always use to write your business name, isn't the most important part. What matters is establishing your business logo and making it noticeable. A logo not only attracts a customer to your brand, but it forms reassurance to customers that your company is trustworthy.    

    4. Deals, Special Offers, and Free Stuff

    What gains someone's interest faster than any marketing scheme out there? Saving money! People love deals and your site's success will boom if you have all your latest deals, offers, and freebies listed right on your homepage.

    Creating sales will encourage people to buy more because they're saving more. Limited offers give customers the now-or-never drive to complete purchases while they're already on your site instead of saving it for later.

    What's better than savings? Free shipping! People are more likely to not fulfill an order based on how much their shipping fee is, so by cutting their shipping costs after spending a certain amount or even all together will ultimately increase your sales. Make sure to advertise these great savings in an eye-catching manner.

    5. News on Products

    Are you premiering a new, exciting item? Perhaps you have a best seller you'd like to highlight? Or maybe an upcoming event? Customers want to know the latest news and hottest trends. What better place to display such things than your homepage?

    Drawing attention to these details at the get-go rather than forcing customers to search for hours to find them not only boosts their satisfaction, but allows you to maximize your success rate.

    6. Contact Information

    It's a pretty given fact that buyers need to able to communicate with sellers in case there are ever any issues, questions, or concerns. Providing them with a support team is a great way to not just optimize your customer service abilities but to ensure you’re meeting all of your customers’ needs as well.

    Overall, establishing a 24-hour hotline or online chat and making both noticeable on your homepage is of high value to your e-commerce site. (Need inspiration? Check out our support portal.)

    7. Important Links and Icons

    The bottom part of the screen on any website contains smaller links and icons which provide further tools and information for visitors to access. Among these are security icons, payment system icons, and social media links.

    Posting icons for all network solutions used to keep your site secure, like McAfee or Geo-Trust, will reassure customers any transaction they complete on your site is safe. Another thing customers seek information on is what payment methods your site accepts and so icons for PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, and any other payment system your site works will also require a listing.

    Of course, everyone engages in social media activity and it's one of the leading marketing techniques of today. Provide links to your social media pages as well so people can share your page, products, and content.

    There are WordPress plugins out there to help you with all 7 of the above tips. If you're not using WordPress to manage your ecommerce site, Magento and Joomla are also excellent options. HostGator offers hosting with all of these platforms - click the button below to learn more.

    Get Started With HostGator!

Managed WordPress Hosting