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Becoming A Web Hosting Reseller
By: Rich Smith
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    So you would like to get into the lucrative business of being a web hosting provider. Welcome to the club. There are many companies and individuals trying to break into the web hosting resellers market today. Reselling web hosting services offers you the ability to start your own internet-based business selling web space, but without the hassles or monetary expense of managing your own equipment.

    But now that you’ve made that decision, what do you do? Where do you even start when it comes to creating a new business for this purpose? I hope to provide you with guidelines that can help you to achieve your goals.

    The first thing to do is decide on what it is you wish to offer. Some resellers just want to offer hosting solutions for a cheap price hoping that they can make money on quantity. Alternatively, other resellers are design firms who have decided to offer hosting to augment their design offerings as well as open the door for additional customers. There are many reasons for becoming a reseller, and a multitude of options that can be offered to your customers. It is a very good idea to know who your prospective customer is before you even get started.

    In addition to deciding on what it is you wish to offer, the next step is to consider how you want to offer it. Many resellers offer different flavors of reseller hosting. Here are a couple of the more common varieties:

    • Agent Partners – This is when you become a “partner” with a web host, and resell their services. It is your job to find the customers, and when they sign up they become customers of your web host. You earn a recurring commission on the services they purchase. It is well known that you are not the actual hosting provider, just a partner.

    • Private Label – If you would like your customers to believe that you are the actual provider, or do not wish for them to know whose services you resell then this is the option for you. The actual provider will supply you with the information you need and the appropriate tools to transparently offer their services as your own. It is not common knowledge that you are a reseller or whose services you resell.

    Once you have decided who you will cater to and what kind of image you would like to portray, the next step would be to begin to research hosting providers who can accommodate your wishes. For example, if you wish to offer services for ASP developers, you will need to find a hosting provider who offers windows-based hosting and who can offer the reseller program you desire.

    Selecting a provider may not be as simple as it sounds. There are many hosts available to choose from, some better than others. It is highly recommended that you find some references from the ones that match your intentions, to help narrow down your selection.

    Once you have selected a provider you need to decide what you want your website to consist of. If you are skilled in web design, then you have an edge in this arena. Most do not, however, and need to employ web designers to build their site for them.

    By becoming familiar with the options available by your provider, and by researching other web reseller’s websites, you can build a site map of how your web site should be architected. If you will be having a web design firm handle creation of the website for you, this is imperative if you would like receive an all-inclusive quote.

    Be sure you know what it is you want from your designer. Some of them will offer services such as logo design and banner ad creation, as well. Ask for example work and references. It is also helpful if your designer has experience with web hosting sites. First impressions are everything when it comes to web hosting customers, so this is very important. You want to make sure to select a firm that can deliver what it is you need, with professional quality and at a fair price.

    Once your site it created, your final step is advertising. You can have a professionally designed website and outstanding hosting plans to sell, but without proper advertising your potential customers will never know you exist. There are many ways to advertise on the internet. These include submitting your website to search engines, doing direct advertising with select web sites, and banner advertising with different exchanges. You will need to weigh the benefits of each along with your budget.

    By following the above guidelines, you should be well on your way to a constructive and profitable web hosting venture. This is not to say that these guidelines are a sure-fire way to become an instant success. Any successful business requires effort and dedication. But by taking these guidelines and applying the right amount of good old-fashioned hard work and determination, you have the makings of lucrative venture.


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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