Reseller Hosting Tips
There are many different approaches to selling hosting, all with their own individual merits. If you are looking for a step by step guide, there isn't one as every situation is different. That being said, we have collected a few tips to help you stand out from the crowd.
1. Automation Matters
It’s easy to ignore automation when you first start offering hosting. After all, setting up a few accounts isn't a big deal, right? In order to grow your business quickly, implementing automation early is key. Automation makes it easier to scale, as clients can perform many tasks without your intervention. Additionally, clients are slow to adapt to change and most are used to automation so having it makes supporting those clients easier.
There are several different systems designed to automate hosting and they are typically designed to be all encompassing. They can handle account creation, automate billing and payments, providing support, and more. The more these systems can handle for you, the more time you can spend marketing your services and helping your clients.
We have tried several different systems, and currently recommend WHMCS. If offers the best balance between function, flexibility, and expandability, all important aspects in reselling hosting. WHMCS is available at a discounted price with our Reseller Hosting plans as an add-on.
2. Legal Matters
The more popular your hosting becomes, the faster you will attract abusive clients. It’s important that you take the time early on to create some of the key legal documents such as a Terms of Service and an Acceptable Use Policy. These documents help to protect you should there be problems and some of the best plans are those with failure in mind.
Don’t forget to review our policies first, and seek the advice of a legal professional when creating your own policies.
3. Plan Accordingly
One common practice in the hosting industry is to offer unlimited everything, which is sure to attract clients. There is no such thing as unlimited resources, so we recommend that you choose reasonable limits based on your available resources. There isn't a set formula for calculating how much of any one resource you should offer, however the main limitations are Disk Space and Bandwidth. This means you can safely offer hosting plans with unlimited email accounts for example as they cannot exceed the disk space or bandwidth assigned to the account. Alternatively, you could set limits for these resources to encourage purchasing higher level plans.
We strongly recommend that you set disk space limits to prevent sites from running wild. If one of your sites has an error it's entirely possible for them to exhaust all of your available disk space, which could cause resource abuse issues for your account. Remember, you can always sell additional resources such as disk space to clients who need them.
4. Service & Support Matters
Hosting providers like to think they are all unique, however they all offer a very similar product. One of the quickest ways to set yourself apart is with your service and support. If you take the extra time to help your clients with problems outside of normal support requests, it reflects positively on your company. Larger providers tend to shun this more personalized level of support as it affects their margins, so use it to your advantage.
Don’t be afraid to focus your services. Smaller providers tend to be more agile, allowing you to focus on hosting specific types of websites or payment methods. Larger providers are unable to change as quickly.
5. Value Added Services/Upselling
Just because a client signs up with you, doesn't mean you should stop marketing to them. It's not uncommon for a client's needs to change over time, and if you offer the service(s) they need it can be an easy sell. There are many related products and services you can offer easily to your clients, such as Domain Name registration or SSL Certificates. In many cases these value added services can be automated, providing you with additional recurring profit and minimal additional effort.