Reseller hosting is a very different form of web hosting services than what you’ll typically come across. With every other form of web hosting you’re purchasing hosting that you’re using for your own personal sites.

However, with reseller hosting you’re purchasing hosting so that you can sell it to other customers, or even become a hosting provider yourself.

With reseller hosting services, you’ll be acting as the middleman between a parent hosting company (like HostGator), and the customers and clients you acquire. As you’ll soon learn, there are all kinds of reasons you’ll want to become a hosting reseller, as well as some unique advantages to doing so.

Below we’ll dive into what reseller hosting actually is, why it’s used, the benefits of using reseller hosting services, and finally, how to find the best reseller hosting for you.

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What is Reseller Hosting?

Reseller hosting is a type of web hosting where the account owner purchases hosting and leases this hosting to a third-party. The person who owns the account is known as the reseller. This reseller purchases hosting from a parent hosting company, like HostGator.

Typically, you’ll just offer web hosting if you’re a reseller. However, some companies allow you to offer additional products and services too, like domain name management, email services, and more. The additional services you’re able to offer depends on the parent hosting company you’re purchasing hosting from.

You can think of being a reseller like renting a big house, then renting out each room to an individual tenant. You pay the owner for the lease of the home, and each of your individual tenants pays you. Now, your friends could just as easily rent their own apartment or home, but they don’t want to deal with the hassle of signing a lease and all that. They’d rather just move in, and pay you every month.

Whether you’re a web designer who wants to host client sites, want to start your own website hosting business, or are simply the “tech friend” who’s always down to help with web projects, reseller hosting is a great hosting option worth exploring.

Reseller hosting is probably the most common for digital agencies and freelancers who manage client sites. This gives you the ability to offer your clients fully hands-off hosting while setting up your business with an additional long-term income stream.

With reseller packages, there are multiple forms of hosting available. You can resell shared hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting, dedicated server hosting, and even WordPress hosting. The type of hosting you offer simply depends on what your customers need.

Why Offer Reseller Hosting?

Reseller hosting is typically used when agencies and freelancers want to add an additional service or manage their client’s hosting while making a profit. When you sign up for reseller hosting you’ll pay a set price for a certain type of hosting and you’ll be allocated a set amount of bandwidth and storage.

Since you’re acting as the host you’ll be able to manage server resources, configure accounts, keep track of billing, and a lot more.

For example, if you’re managing a dozen client websites that all receive a relatively low volume of traffic, you could put them all on a single shared hosting reseller account. Then, you charge every site a monthly fee for hosting and website maintenance and can make a nice profit.

Not only does this add to your bottom line, but you’re offering your clients a ton of value as well. Their hosting is completely taken care of, month in and month out.

You can even use reseller hosting to build your very own web hosting company. Of course, it will be difficult to compete with the larger players (especially on price), and you won’t be able to effectively manage every single site on the server at scale. But, if you cater your hosting company towards a single niche you might be able to carve out success in the market and really make money with reseller hosting.

How Does Reseller Hosting Work?

At the core, reseller hosting is pretty simple. You sign up for a reseller hosting account and you receive a dedicated portion of a server that you’re responsible for managing and billing for.

The type of hosting you’re able to offer depends on the parent host you’re purchasing hosting from.

You’ll be responsible for bringing on customers, setting up their accounts, partitioning server resources, and providing customer support.

The neat thing about reseller packages is that it’s completely white-label. So, every aspect of your hosting can be customized with your unique brand. Your customers and clients will never know that you’re actually renting servers from another parent host.

You’ll be able to customize everything from the hosting dashboard, control panel, packages offered, and even support tutorials and walkthroughs.

When you purchase reseller hosting you’ll be buying a certain amount of server space. Then, you’ll charge your customer’s a set amount every month for hosting and keep the profits.

Advantages of Reseller Hosting

Reseller hosting can be very advantageous if you currently run an online agency, or are even looking to create your own web hosting company.

Here are some of the biggest advantages you’ll receive once you’re underway as a reseller hosting provider:

  • You can create a recurring revenue stream for your existing business, without that much additional work.
  • You can create a web hosting business from scratch, without the need for the technical infrastructure.
  • You can focus your energy on selling your services and hosting packages, instead of dealing with technical support requests.
  • You can use the included billing software to streamline your accounts.

Disadvantages of Reseller Hosting

Reseller hosting can offer you and your business a ton of advantages, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect.

Here are some of the biggest drawbacks to reseller hosting that you’ll want to be aware of:

  • You don’t control the servers, so performance, maintenance, and other issues are outside of your control. This is why it’s so important to choose a quality web host!
  • You’ll generally have to price hosting services higher than the parent host to cover your reseller costs.
  • You have to work with their technical support team to resolve issues, which could take longer than direct customer support.
  • A big part of your job as a provider will become support and managing customer relationships. Whether you like it or not, you’re in the hosting business now.

Common Reseller Hosting Features

The exact specifications of what you’ll receive will differ depending on the reseller host you decide to work with, but here’s a breakdown of the most common features you’ll receive as a provider:

  • Server disk space and bandwidth.
  • The ability to host domain names as well.
  • Being able to brand your own hosting solutions.
  • Access to cPanel and WHM for your client’s control panel.
  • Being able to manage plan resources.
  • Ability to create your own hosting plans custom-tailored to your market or client needs.
  • Additional features like email, monitoring tools, backups, and additional server scripts.

What to Look for in a Quality Reseller Host

When you’re looking for the best reseller hosting, there are a handful of features that are very important. In fact, the parent host you choose can make or break the success of your reseller hosting business.

Here are seven of the most important features you’ll want to keep an eye out for:

1. Quality Customer Support

You need to be able to offer solid customer support. Whether you’re offering customer support yourself, or it will be provided by your parent hosting company, it needs to be speedy and helpful.

If you don’t want anything to do with managing customer support requests, then make sure you choose a parent hosting company that offers customer support as a server. Some hosting companies will provide technical customer support, while others won’t offer it at all.

Since you’re acting as the middleman between your users and the parent hosting company, support will often be your responsibility.

2. Server Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred to and from your server. If you have sites on the server that are receiving a high volume of visitors, then you’re going to need higher bandwidth.

Make sure you can offer enough server bandwidth to support your customer’s sites, as well as their continued growth.

3. Server RAM

RAM refers to your server’s ability to process files. Think about your computer. If you have a low amount of RAM available, then your computer is going to struggle if you have a handful of applications open.

The same goes for your hosting server. The more RAM your server has the more files it can serve on an instantaneous basis.

4. Server Storage

Disk storage is how much space you have to store website files. This includes everything from the actual files that make up the website (HTML, CSS, PHP, etc.), to any video, image, or audio files.

As a reseller, you can set limits on how much disk space each customer will receive, just like how traditional hosts have plan storage limits. Once you hit the limit you’ll need to upgrade to a larger plan.

5. Control Panel

cPanel is the industry standard control panel. If you’ve ever used shared hosting solutions in the past, then you’re probably already familiar. Essentially, cPanel and tools like it make it easy to manage your server without having to touch a line of code. It allows beginners to accomplish technical tasks with ease.

If you’re going to be offering shared hosting to your clients and customers, then you’ll want to make sure that you can offer cPanel, especially if you’re not going to be involved in the hosting setup process. (HostGator includes the latest cPanel with all of our reseller hosting plans.)

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6. Server Speed

Being able to offer fast and high performing servers is incredibly important. No one is going to sign up for your reseller hosting service if you offer subpar speeds. Make sure the parent hosting company places a priority on performance.

Things like having the proper amount of bandwidth and storage will help, but you’ll also want other tools and features that’ll help push performance even higher.

7. Pricing

Finally, since you’re offering hosting as a service, price will come into play. It’ll be hard to keep on paying for reseller hosting if you’re losing money month after month. You’ll have to strike a balance between the price you’re paying and the overall performance and feature set.

Depending on how much you’re charging your clients and customers to host their sites with you, there might be some sacrifices that have to be made.

However, you might be able to find a parent host that offers long-term discounts, or prices their hosting packages at a level that you can work with.

Ideally, you’ll be looking for a host that has features similar to the following:

  • Solid server resources. Plenty of RAM, storage, bandwidth, processors.
  • Bundled billing software. Payment options and processing, domain selling, and more.
  • Bonus features. Regular backups, email accounts, malware scans, and more.
  • Customer support. Included technical support, or full-scale support.
  • Affordable pricing. Hosting costs that allow you to break even sooner, rather than later.

Best Reseller Hosting: HostGator Reseller Hosting

If you’ve been considering reseller hosting, then you’re in the right place. At HostGator, you’ll find affordable reseller hosting that’s packed with features you can’t get anywhere else.

One of the most beneficial features is the ability to support unlimited domains, no matter which plan you happen to be on. If you’re hosting smaller and less resource intensive sites, then this can help you break even much sooner.

It also includes other features like:

  • Free SSL certificates
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Unlimited MySQL databases
  • A brandable client panel and tutorial library
  • Regular backups and web server monitoring
  • Customer plan creation via disk space and bandwidth
  • Both cPanel and WHM control panel availability

The biggest difference you’ll find between the reseller plans are the amount of disk space and bandwidth that each plan offers. Plus, the prices are incredibly affordable.

How to Sign Up to Be a Reseller with HostGator

Becoming a HostGator hosting reseller is incredibly easy, just follow the steps below and you can get started reselling hosting services today:

1. Go to HostGator

First, head over to the HostGator Reseller hosting page. Here you can explore the different plan options, and see the different features and add-ons you’ll be able to offer your customers.

2. Select Your Plan

Now, it’s time to select your plan. You should choose your plan based upon the level of web server resources you require to support your customer’s websites.

hostgator reseller hosting plans

3. Complete the Checkout Process

Then, all you have to do is click ‘Buy Now!’ on your preferred plan and complete the checkout process. You’ll also be able to add a domain name to your order, if you’re creating a new hosting site to manage all of your reseller hosting.

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Hopefully, you have a better understanding of what reseller hosting is, how it works, and what to look for in a host, so you can find the best reseller hosting for your needs.

Remember, the parent host that you’re purchasing hosting from will influence the quality of hosting you’re able to provide your customers, so choose wisely and spend time researching your decision.

Call our support team to get started with HostGator reseller hosting today.

Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.