Reseller Hosting – the basics
Have you heard of reseller hosting? A popular choice of many webmasters, web designers and small businesses, plenty of confusion still exists around what reseller hosting actually is and the benefits it has for anyone looking to host multiple websites. If you’re familiar with reseller hosting already, this article will serve as a useful reference/checklist to make sure you’re getting all of the features you need from your reseller package.
So what is reseller hosting?
Reseller hosting is a term used to describe hosting multiple websites under a single, larger, web hosting account. A reseller hosting client (i.e. someone that buys reseller hosting) generally buys a reseller account to become their own web host and offer hosting to their own clients, or just to consolidate multiple websites of their own under a single account. The latter is becoming increasingly popular among webmasters who maintain a number of websites as one reseller account means it is a single monthly fee, a single renew date and generally less hassle than renewing multiple shared accounts.
Most reseller hosts don’t mind if you use the account to host your own websites, or to offer hosting to your own customers.
Reseller Hosting – different platforms
A number of different reseller hosting platforms exist. However, one platform stands leagues ahead of the others for simplicity, ease-of-use and number of features. This platform is the cPanel / WebHostManager (WHM) platform. A couple of screenshots give you a sneak preview below and you can find out more at www.cpanel.net.
The cPanel / WHM system is two fold.
WebHostManager is the reseller control center. You use WebHostManager to add/modify/remove/manage each of your resold accounts. The screenshot above shows how easy it is to add a new account. WebHostManager also gives you, the reseller, the chance to login to your client / resold accounts’ cPanel, change their password, check their diskspace usage and more. Each account you create through WHM comes with it’s own cPanel login.
cPanel is the account control panel, or client control panel. Every full account you create comes with it. It allows account owners (whether that’s you – the reseller, or your client) to manage all aspects of the hosting account. These aspects include email, FTP, databases, passwords, WordPress and more. There’s way too many features to list here so check out the fully-functional live demo at http://cpanel.net/demo/
Other important reseller hosting features
This list is by no means definitive, but it should give you some ideas of what to look for when choosing your reseller host
- Personal nameservers – these add a degree of professionalism to your reseller business. Personal nameservers look like ns1.yourdomain.com and ns2.yourdomain.com. You can give these to your clients and these will also show up in any WHOIS searches on domains pointed to your nameservers
- Free account transfers – stuck with another, poor-quality web host? Some reseller hosting providers offer a free account transfer to help you migrate your accounts off the old hosting company
- 24×7 support – an important requirement for any reseller. You need to know that your service provider is there to give you help, when you need it. If your client has a problem that you can’t solve and you need to speak to your reseller host, it is imperative they’re there around the clock and answer you quickly so you don’t keep your client waiting
- Billing software – many reseller hosts now include free billing software to allow you to easily manage and bill your own clients. Two popular choices of reseller billing software are WHMCS and Blesta
- Credit card processing – some reseller hosts also offer free or discounted credit card processing software, allowing you to easily accept payments from credit cards. Paypal and Google Checkout are both popular and free ways of taking payments, but you really need to take credit cards to add a degree of professionalism to your operation. Popular credit card providers include 2Checkout.com, Charge.com and WorldPay.com
Good reseller hosts
This wraps up the first part of our reseller hosting guide. We’ll be posting a follow up soon. But lastly, we’re sure you want to know who we recommend you look at for reseller hosting? There’s plenty of options around and Google “reseller hosting”, “reliable reseller hosting” etc to get a better idea. But designdisease.com is hosted by WebHostingBuzz and you can check out their reseller hosting here. The also offer UK reseller hosting for those in the UK /Europe.
Good luck with your journey into the reseller hosting world!