- Feb 14, 2019
- by Brad Litwin
When operating a web design and/or development business, you have the option to offer additional services to your clients. Affiliate programs and reseller hosting are two popular options – but it can be difficult to determine which one is the best fit.
Hosting affiliate programs are when a hosting company pays you a commission for any sales they make through your website. Reseller hosting, on the other hand, refers to the selling of hosting plans alongside your current services. Deciding whether to pursue one or both of these avenues depends on the needs of you and your clients.
In this post, we’ll cover the key differences between hosting affiliate programs and reseller hosting. We’ll also talk you through how to pick the most beneficial option. Let’s get started!
An Introduction to Reseller Hosting
Reseller hosting plans enable you to use a third-party provider’s servers to sell hosting plans. You’ll usually pay a monthly fee that depends on the amount of resources you’re renting, and you can charge your clients whatever you like in turn.
Here at A2 Hosting, we offer a number of competitive reseller hosting plans:
There are a number of benefits that come with reseller hosting, especially if you’re in the business of building or designing websites. For example:
- Reseller hosting can ensure a more steady secondary income. This can be vital, particularly in months where you don’t have as many new projects.
- It’s also an easy way of further expanding your existing business. By offering hosting along with the websites you build, you provide extra value (and a better experience) for your clients.
However, it’s important to remember that with reseller hosting, you’ll need to offer continued support to your clients. Web hosting can be a demanding line of work, so you’ll need to be prepared to put some effort in over the long term.
Additionally, the quality of the service you provide will only be as good as the hosting provider you work with. Therefore, you’ll want to take your time and find the best available option.
If you feel this may not be the most viable choice for your business, don’t worry. You also have the option to become part of an affiliate program, which comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks.
Hosting Affiliate Programs in a Nutshell
Hosting affiliate programs still involve the selling of plans, but in a different way. Instead of offering your own plans, you simply advertise the services of your chosen hosting provider.
More specifically, as an affiliate marketer you’ll include one or more links to the hosting provider on your website, or offer them directly to clients. Every time someone uses one of your links to purchase a hosting plan, you’ll receive a commission. The amount can vary, depending on the individual hosting provider.
The key benefits of hosting affiliate programs include:
- You don’t need to provide any further support to those who buy a hosting plan. This means you aren’t responsible for their experience, or any further assistance they may need.
- By extension, you won’t need to put in the same number of hours as you would with reseller hosting. Plus, joining an affiliate program is free – you’ll just need to be approved by the provider. This makes affiliate marketing an inexpensive and largely passive source of income.
On the other hand, while affiliate programs are a great way of making some extra money, they don’t really offer the opportunity to grow your business. Reseller hosting enables you to branch your existing business out into the hosting world. Becoming an affiliate is more about monetizing your website.
You also have less control over the hosting service that’s provided to your clients. Therefore, you need to make sure you choose a reliable provider if you decide to go this route.
How to Pick the Best Option for Your Business
Since both reseller hosting and affiliate programs have their merits, it can be difficult to determine which is a better fit for your business, as well as the needs of your clients. The best way to do so is by comparing both kinds of services directly.
A key aspect to consider is the amount of time it takes to make each venture successful. While it can be more lucrative in the long run (for both you and your clients), reseller hosting also requires more work than affiliate programs do.
If you’re debating whether to offer these services, it’s likely you have an existing business that also needs your attention. You’ll want to bear this in mind when making your decision. Do you have sufficient time and resources to make reseller hosting work? If not, joining an affiliate program may be the better strategy.
Affiliate programs are also free to join. With a reseller plan, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee to your hosting provider. However, this cost can be justified by the fact that reseller hosting usually offers a significantly higher payout for sales – depending on how you price your plans. Overall, reseller hosting gives you more control over the service you offer.
Finally, don’t forget to consider the needs of your clients. It’s important to select a service you know they’ll actually benefit from. For example, if you’re a software developer, are you well-equipped to support your clients over time, or would you prefer to send them to a host you trust and earn a commission? Remember, your clients are the ones who will keep your new venture afloat, so offering value to them should be your primary goal.
If you work with websites, your clients are going to need hosting. Both hosting affiliate programs and reseller hosting help you provide that service. However, it’s important to ensure that you’re using the right option for your business’ needs.
In a general sense, reseller hosting is better suited to those who have enough time and resources to make it a success. Hosting affiliate programs, on the other hand, are useful for businesses that prefer to simply direct clients to a suitable provider, and earn a commission at the same time.
Image credit: Flickr.