Looking to start your own web hosting business? If you are, this guide may be the perfect place to start. In this article, I will talk about what reseller hosting is and how you can use a reseller hosting to start your own web hosting business online and that too at a bare minimum setup. In addition to all these, I will introduce you to the best reseller hosting services in 2023.
Let’s start with some motivation.
The HostGator Case
One of the biggest hosting companies on the web, HostGator, was founded by Brent Oxley in his dorm room at the University. How did he do it? By becoming a reseller of a large data center company called The Planet which later became SoftLayer. Softlayer was a data center that owned and managed the servers, network, and other infrastructure while the reselling companies rented space on their servers and sold hosting to their own customers under their own brand names.
Softlayer was acquired by IBM in 2013 – but HostGator went way ahead.
HostGator is now one of the best hosting services online.
This is how web hosting businesses run, more often than not.
If you are a web developer or a web development agency, you can, too, start with reseller hosting and grow like how Hostgator did.
In addition to profit margins, reseller hosting services also offer you access to an open space of opportunities, leads and customer base.
What is Reseller Hosting?
In reseller hosting, the hosting provider allocates you a certain bandwidth and hard drive space, which you can employ for hosting sites of your own clients & users.
The reseller company will also facilitate you to create your own plans, prices and other services, all with your brand name on them.
Depending on your technical expertise and how small or big you want to start with, you can have the parent host manage most of the support while you act as a communication medium between the host and your clients.
So for any technical issues that your client faces, you relay them to the host, and it is their job to resolve them.
But this also means you will have to regularly monitor the system to see if everything’s going smooth on both ends-your customer and the parent host.
Finding a Good Reseller Hosting Provider
Most of the large hosting companies offer reseller hosting these days. Here are some tips for choosing one among them:
Compare their rates
Of course, you don’t want to blindly choose the least expensive one, but it helps to know the rates and understand how much you can charge for your own hosting service later.
Probably the most important criteria. Check how much technical support your host will provide to your clients. Not all of them offer complete support, so you will need to decide how much customer assistance you can provide yourself. Personally, I’d prefer a company with round-the-clock support via chat and phone.
Another crucial factor in deciding on a hosting company is its uptime record. If you don’t want to face angry customers later, choose a company that has less than 1% downtime, which ensures all the sites hosted on their servers rarely go down.
Best Reseller Hosting Providers
Let’s now take a quick look at my picks for the best reseller hosting providers and see which one fits your needs. For your convenience, I have listed the top picks for all-important needs here:
- ResellerClub – the best reseller hosting overall. Useful for all needs. It is recommended even by Bluehost. Trusted by 200000 resellers worldwide.
- Hostgator – the best for a limited number of sites. Useful for high-end clients and users.
- GreenGeeks – the best environment-friendly hosting. Useful if you have clients from green-energy or top-level businesses.
- A2 Hosting – the best reseller hosting for support.
- Hostpapa – for those who don’t know their way around. Ideal for fresh and upcoming hosting startups.
- Hostinger Agency Hosting – ideal if you are an agency offering hosting to your dedicated clients and not general users.
Promoting your Hosting Service
Now, once you are done with all the setup and things, you need more users for your new hosting service. For this, you can try various digital marketing and local SEO techniques. Advertise your company in the online classifieds, marketing blogs and promote your site via organic SEO and paid traffic using Google Ads or Facebook Ads. But don’t limit your advertising only to the internet. You can go to your local businesses and distribute flyers that showcase your services and how they can benefit from hosting their sites with you. Additionally, you could set up promotional banners, newspaper ads and signages in your coverage areas.
If you have some more budget, you can also sponsor tech events, giveaways and networking seminars in your local business community to get more exposure. Sponsoring blogs, newsletters and buying paid tweets can also help.
Additionally, you can pitch your web hosting business to other websites using digital banner ads and guest posts. Here are some guest posting sites that you can try.
If you’re already offering some kind of web services to your clients like web design or programming, tell them about your new hosting service. They are the ones most likely to sign up with you.
Since you would be just starting, you may even launch a discount offer and bulk rates for those who sign up early. Give them the best possible customer service, create attractive hosting plans (of course, don’t promise any features that your own host doesn’t offer!) and encourage them to spread the word about your hosting, thus making your own clients into affiliates.
Once you have a few customers, you can expand your business by hiring employees to take care of the support, maintenance, and minor technical issues.
So there you have it. A web hosting business is a profitable online business you can start from home and earn a passive income month on month. All you need is a decent computer and lots of determination and the ability to work hard.