- Dec 02, 2020
- by Alex Ali
As a reseller, your choice of hosting provider can make or break your business. Get this step right, and you’re off to a great start. In contrast, if you choose the wrong provider, your reseller hosting business may struggle to take off.
However, by following some simple steps, you can find a provider that ticks every item on your wishlist. With the right hosting provider on your side, you can offer the best possible experience to your customers. You can also avoid much of the time-consuming admin that often accompanies running a successful reseller hosting business.
In this article, we’ll share 11 things to look for in a reseller hosting package. We’ll be covering elements such as white labelling, checking the fine print, and planning for the future of your business. We have lots to cover, so let’s get started!
What a Hosting Reseller Is (And Why You Might Want to Become One)
As a hosting reseller, you’ll purchase a hosting package from an established provider. You’ll pay a fixed fee for this server space, then resell these services to your own clients for a profit.
There are many reasons why reseller hosting is popular with businesses of all shapes and sizes. For established businesses, it can provide a valuable way to diversify your income. This can help protect your business against fluctuations in the market.
Reseller hosting is also a subscription-based model. Your customers will purchase a package, then pay you a recurring monthly or even annual fee. By selling hosting subscriptions, you can build long-term relationships with your existing customers.
In the best case scenario, reseller hosting may be the key to transforming one-off or casual purchasers into loyal repeat customers. These customers can then provide your business with a reliable, recurring revenue for years to come.
Some entrepreneurs also choose reseller hosting as the basis for a new business venture. By purchasing hosting from an established provider, you can eliminate many of the startup costs associated with starting a new business. This makes reseller hosting an attractive option for anyone looking to become their own boss.
11 Things to Look for in a Reseller Hosting Package
As a hosting reseller, your services are completely dictated by your hosting provider. Choosing the right hosting package is a strong start.
Get this step wrong, and you may face an uphill struggle. With this in mind, here are eleven things to look for in a reseller hosting package.
1. The Perfect Features for Your Ideal Customer
To appeal to your future customers, it’s important to find a package that reflects their needs as closely as possible. This requires a deep understanding of your target audience.
Tools such as Google Trends and Keyword Planner can help you build a picture of your ideal customer. This includes the features and resources your target audience cares about. It’s also a smart move to identify any providers who operate in your target area. These are your direct competitors.
When analyzing the competition, it may help to use tools such as SEMrush or SimilarWeb. These tools can help you understand your competitors’ marketing and advertising activities. For example, you can conduct legal Search Engine Optimization (SEO) espionage. It’s also a good idea to examine the hosting packages they offer, and their price points.
Generally, there are two main ways to successfully position yourself in the market. You can either offer hosting that’s more budget-friendly than your competitors, or present yourself as the premium alternative. The latter might involve offering more resources, developing unique features, or providing a higher level of customer service.
This research should influence your chosen hosting package. For example, if you decide to position yourself as a budget-friendly option, you should look for packages that fulfill your target audience’s minimum requirements, with no added extras. This will enable you to keep costs low and remain competitive. Alternatively, if you’re offering a premium service, it’s better to purchase a package that includes resources or features not currently offered by your direct competitors.
2. High Uptime Rates
When choosing a hosting package, we’d always recommend checking the provider’s uptime rates. This is the length of time the provider’s servers have been up and running, and is usually expressed as a percentage. Uptime is always important, but it’s crucial for becoming a successful hosting reseller.
If your hosting provider’s servers go down, it’ll knock all your customers offline, too. For your reseller hosting customers, downtime can have disastrous consequences including lost conversions and sales. According to Gartner, unscheduled downtime can cost a company as much as $5,600 every single minute. Your customers are not going to be happy if downtime costs them thousands of dollars.
A recent study by Moz also found that intermittent 500 internal server errors can cause issues with tracked keywords. Your customers may experience a drop in their SEO rankings after selecting you as their hosting provider.
Downtime is always bad news. However, it can be particularly frustrating when your hosting provider is to blame. As a hosting reseller, there’s very little you can personally do to resolve downtime, but you’ll still be the one receiving the customer complaints.
By choosing a hosting package that promises high uptime rates, you can give your business the best possible chance of success. Since uptime is such a crucial factor for your reseller hosting business, we’d recommend opting for a package that provides an uptime guarantee, wherever possible.
3. Positive Customer Reviews
It’s a smart move to research what customers are saying about any potential hosting provider. Customer testimonials, case studies, and feedback posted on the provider’s website is a good place to start. However, this information is hand-selected by the provider, which means it’s always going to be biased.
To get a more accurate insight, it’s a good idea to check platforms that aren’t under the hosting provider’s control. This includes third party review sites such as TrustPilot.
You should also boot up your favorite search engine, and search for the hosting provider’s name. This can reveal miscellaneous locations where people are discussing the provider, including third-party forums and blogs.
When researching a potential provider, you should pay particular attention to what customers are saying about their uptime and technical support. These factors are particularly important for running a successful reseller hosting business.
Wherever possible, it’s a good idea to look for feedback from other reseller hosting customers. If the general consensus is positive, then this could be the hosting provider for you.
4. A High Level of Performance
Performance is a crucial factor for any website. Studies have shown that 40 percent of customers abandon a site that takes longer than three seconds to load. This can have a significant impact on key performance metrics, including bounce and conversion rates.
It’s impossible to know every factor that search engines use to determine a website’s ranking. However, performance does appear to be a major ranking factor for search engines such as Google. In particular, SEO specialists Moz identified a clear correlation between decreasing search rank and increasing Time To First Byte (TTFB). TTFB is how long it takes the server to respond to a connection attempt.
To help your customers drive conversions and rank highly in search engine results, it’s a good idea to opt for a hosting provider that prioritizes performance. At A2 Hosting, our Turbo Servers are fine-tuned for performance, and can deliver up to 20x faster page load speeds, compared to competing reseller hosting solutions.
5. 24/7 Technical Support
As a hosting reseller, you’re in a unique position. You’re expected to provide support to your customers. However, many of the back end processes are managed by your hosting provider. This means there are some issues you can’t resolve without contacting your provider.
For this reason, we recommend opting for a package that includes 24/7 customer support from your hosting provider. This ensures if your customers do encounter an issue, you can consult with your provider where necessary.
Ideally, your hosting provider should be contactable via multiple channels, as some channels are typically more efficient than others. For example, ringing the customer support desk is usually quicker than writing an email, and waiting for the response.
Your customer support has the potential to make or break your business. However, if your hosting provider isn’t available 24/7, this can result in significant delays. From the customer’s perspective, you’re the one who isn’t responding to their queries fast enough. This reflects badly on your business, and can make it impossible to offer a good level of customer service.
As a hosting reseller, there are plenty of steps you can take to improve your customer service. This might include adding live chat to your website, or creating an informative FAQ, knowledge base, or wiki website. However, without 24/7 support, you may struggle to resolve all customer complaints within a reasonable time frame.
6. Compatible Terms of Service
As a reseller, your Terms of Service need to adhere to your hosting provider’s acceptable usage policies. Before purchasing a hosting package, it’s important to read the provider’s Terms of Service carefully. Their policy may conflict with how you plan to market, distribute, or resell their hosting services. You should also ensure there are no rules or restrictions that could make this product undesirable to your target audience.
If you’re unsure, you can contact the potential hosting provider for guidance. A good hosting provider should be willing to work with you, to ensure your Terms of Service are in line with their own policies.
If you’re unsure about your Terms of Service, it may help to generate a rough draft. You can generate Terms of Service boilerplate using tools such as TermsFeed or WP AutoTerms. You can then compare this draft against the potential provider’s Terms of Service. This can help you identify any conflicts, or other issues that may make this an unsuitable package for your reseller hosting business.
7. White Label Branding
Some website owners have a negative impression of resellers. There’s the misconception that customers can get a better experience, by going directly to the source.
Other customers may believe that reselling hosting is more expensive, as both the original provider and reseller are earning a profit. If you publicize your identity as a reseller, some customers may even track down your host, in order to compare your prices.
White labelling makes it possible to create your own identity, independent of your hosting provider. We’d always recommend opting for a provider that offers white labelling functionality, as this is essential for building a strong brand. It also helps you avoid all the negative misconceptions surrounding hosting resellers.
At A2 Hosting, we give all our resellers free rein to rebrand our products. In particular, you can customize the cPanel interface to feature your own logo, favicons, and company name.
You can also add links to your own customer support and documentation. This is important for creating a consistent brand identity. It also provides a better user experience, by making it easy for customers to access the support and documentation they need.
8. The Ability to Create and Manage Your Own Packages
The reseller package you purchase should make it easy to create and manage your own hosting packages. This includes creating multiple plans that suit the varying needs of your target audience.
Different businesses have different needs. These requirements can also fluctuate over time, for example during periods of growth.
By offering different levels of hosting packages, you can maximize your appeal, and your sales. For example, many hosting providers offer a Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum pricing model.
At A2 Hosting, all our reseller accounts come with WebHost Manager (WHM) as standard. You can use WHM to manage every part of your reseller business, including creating client accounts, monitoring bandwidth usage – and creating a wide range of hosting packages.
If you’re an A2 Hosting customer, you can access WHM by logging into the A2 Hosting client area. From here, you can choose your reseller hosting account, then select Login to WHM.
To create a package, simply select Add a Package. You can then give your package a name, and specify the resources that you want to include in this package. We give our resellers the flexibility to customize every part of their hosting packages, including specifying the Disk Quota, Max Databases, and Max Addon Domains.
Once you’re happy with your hosting package, click Save. You can then repeat this process to create all the hosting packages you need to attract the widest possible audience.
9. Packages That Let You Grow
Hopefully, your reseller hosting business will be a huge success. You may even need to upgrade your hosting packages in order to accommodate your growing customer base. Alternatively, you may decide to upgrade your hosting packages, in order to attract larger clients.
Ideally, your chosen provider will offer a range of reseller hosting packages. At A2 Hosting, we’ve designed a variety of packages specifically for our resellers.
For startups and smaller businesses, we have a budget-friendly Kickstart package, which features 60 GB of disk space and 600 GB data transfer. This package is ideal if you’re targeting customers with more minimalist hosting requirements, or tighter budgets.
For resellers looking to catch the attention of big businesses, we have a premium Scale package. This package features 270 GB of disk space and 2700 GB data transfer. Our Scale packages provide the resources you need, in order to attract customers with more demanding hosting requirements.
It’s also important to consider that customer needs can fluctuate over time. At A2 Hosting, we understand that the best providers are flexible. To help future-proof your business, we make it easy to upgrade your hosting packages. Simply open a ticket in our Customer Portal explaining the changes you need to make, and our customer support staff will be happy to help.
10. Powerful and Accessible Control Panels
WHM is a great start, but your chosen hosting package should include additional management tools. In particular, we recommend opting for a hosting provider that offers cPanel with all their hosting packages. cPanel is one of the most popular control panels for web hosting accounts, and is generally considered the industry standard.
You can use cPanel to manage essential reseller hosting tasks. This includes creating new users, monitoring the resources your customers are consuming, and creating subdomains. You can also use cPanel to install a range of additional tools, via the built-in Softaculous installer. This gives you the flexibility you need, to customize and enhance your reseller account.
At A2 Hosting, we provide cPanel as standard. In addition, all your reseller customers will have their own cPanel accounts that you can customize with your own branding. This enables you to provide the best possible customer experience, while creating a strong brand identity.
11. Built-in Billing Software
Running a successful reseller hosting business can require a significant amount of admin. To make your day-to-day life easier, we recommend opting for a package that includes a web management platform.
A web management platform can automate many essential administrative tasks. This leaves you free to focus on what really matters – growing your reseller hosting business.
There are plenty of third party web management platforms on the market. However, all our reseller accounts come with Web Host Manager Complete Solution (WHMCS) built-in.
WHMCS can automate many of the tasks associated with running a successful reseller hosting business. This includes renewing customer subscriptions, invoicing, and collecting payments from your satisfied customers.
In particular, you can use WHMCS to automate creating customer accounts, and activating their subscriptions. Increasingly, customers expect to have access to accounts, products, and services as soon as they complete the payment process.
Forcing new customers to wait while you manually activate their account is a poor customer experience. By opting for a package that includes a tool such as WHMCS, you can automate the activation process, and onboard new customers at any time of the day or night.
WHMCS also provides some useful additional tools, including built-in analytics. This helps you monitor the success of your business, without necessarily having to master any third party analytics platforms.
Once you’ve purchased your A2 reseller hosting account, you can install WHMCS using the built-in Softaculous installer. Alternatively, all our reseller hosting accounts support the Blesta billing platform, which is another popular management platform amongst resellers.
As a reseller, choosing the right hosting provider is crucial to the success of your business. By finding a provider that offers exactly the features your business needs, you can give your new business venture the best possible chance of success.
In this article, we covered 11 things to look for in a reseller hosting provider. This included finding a provider that offers 24/7 support, as this is the key to resolving any back end issues quickly. We also recommended that you plan for the future, by opting for a hosting package with lots of opportunity to grow.
When choosing a provider, it’s a good idea to pay particular attention to uptime. If your hosting provider’s servers go down, it’ll take all of your customers’ websites down with it. That can only mean one thing: unhappy customers! To keep your existing customers happy and attract new customers, it’s a smart move to look for a hosting provider that offers an uptime guarantee.