Reseller hosting is perfect for people who wish to sell hosting services to their customers. You’ll be able to provide a robust environment without having to invest in servers or any other infrastructure. The cost of your hosting reseller account will also likely be covered by your first customers. Everything after that will be pure profit. And the more customers you have, the more money you’ll make. Many hosting resellers end up selling add-on services like web design, content writing and traffic generation to help earn even more money from their clients. Here are three important things to know prior to becoming a hosting reseller.
1. Pay Attention to Your Resource Limits
It’s quite easy to start offering hosting as a reseller. You’ll first need to purchase a reseller hosting account with enough resources for all of your clients. This type of hosting account will allow you to spin up new cPanel instances as you get new customers. But do make sure you’re not too generous with your resource allocations. These individual hosting slices come out of the overall allocation of disk space and bandwidth from your reseller account. You are free to resell these resources to your customers as long as you don’t go over your limits.
To make sure you don’t go over your limits, create your custom packages with your resource limitations taken into consideration. Don’t promise your clients unlimited resources if your overall resources are limited. Your customers will have their web hosting control panel where they will be able to see how many resources they’re using out of their allocation.
2. Rely on CloudLinux to Limit Resource Abusers
One of the major problems affecting web hosts is customers abusing the server. One rogue customer can monopolize all of your hosting resources, leaving the rest of your clients’ websites running very slowly. If you have a few bad customers like this, you’ll need some way to isolate them from the rest of your users. You can certainly add CPU, memory and I/O limits to help curb excessive resource usage. There is also a server package known as CloudLinux that makes it simple to place your users in isolation of each other.
CloudLinux is an operating system designed specifically to meet the needs of hosting service providers. It works as a drop-in module for both Litespeed and Apache web servers that’s easy to install and easy to configure. It is RPM based and interchangeable with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Centos. CloudLinux features its own kernel and Apache module that talks directly to the kernel.
Your customers won’t notice a difference, and your server architecture will be more robust. The primary benefit of CloudLinux is that it protects your reseller clients from being adversely affected when one client hogs your resources. CloudLinux creates a virtual environment that isolates each tenant or account on the server. It can also set CPU limits the individual user level. This limits the number of resources that any site can use. With CloudLinux in place, no single account can slow down or take down the entire server. Your clients will also be able to monitor what percentage of the CPU they are using. CloudLinux is a great feature to have when you don’t want your customers’ traffic spikes affecting other people’s sites.
Resellers who use CloudLinux will see fewer support tickets and will have to reboot their servers less often. This will improve the overall reliability of your reseller hosting. CloudLinux can also help protect the server from hackers and poorly written scripts. This can help stop scripts from draining resources for other tenants. Better security also means fewer headaches fixing hacks and corrupted databases. And it’s always better to spend your time running your hosting business rather than suspending abusive clients or being forced to optimize your server for resource usage.
3. Get Comfortable Using WHM to Manage Your Hosting Business
A reseller controls their customers’ hosting accounts through a central management area called Web Host Manager (WHM). The first thing you’ll do in WHM is to create your unique hosting plans. You should offer your customers a range of different pricing options that are based on resources and features. You’ll just need to decide how much disk space, bandwidth, databases, email accounts and other features each pricing level gets. Some hosts like to add premium features like a cache layer (such as Varnish or CloudFlare’s Railgun) or a CDN to their higher priced hosting plans.
After you have all your plans adjusted to your liking, you’ll use these plans to create new accounts for each of your customers. Each client will choose a particular package when they sign up to your hosting. You’ll need to assign them a username and a password to go along with their chosen package. After the hosting plan is created, each customer will have their own control panel login page. This allows the customers to have full control of their web hosting account. Most hosts will use cPanel as their hosting control panel.
WHM also integrates into a variety of helpdesks (like WHMCS), providing a way for customers to contact support. Prior to becoming a host, you might think that you need multiple methods of providing customer support. This could be via an online form, phone call or even live chat if you have the staff for that. Although some resellers will rely on these alternate means of support, it’s really not necessary for you to adequately deal with customer queries. WHM will integrate with a wide variety of helpdesk, ensuring that your clients’ questions are answered promptly.
Hosting as a reseller can be a financially rewarding step in your online business. Many resellers endeavor to provide good support so that their customers are happy. Once your customers are happy, they’ll likely renew if they can count on you to treat them right.