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Web Hosting Reseller Programs
Web hosting resellers offer third parties another web hosting service's server space, bandwidth, and software, either reselling their own space or operating as agents for the other web host. To find out more about web hosting reseller programs, read on.
What Is a Web Hosting Reseller?
Just as a retail store resells items that they buy wholesale - whether books or shoes or clothing or sporting goods or electronics - so web hosting resellers resell online services. The basic arrangement is that the original web host supplies the server space for either dedicated or shared hosting, as well as bandwidth, software, and other infrastructure, while the reseller takes care of customer contact and elementary technical support, and may offer discounts on pricing. That is, the web hosting reseller may have no actual contact with the server and network setup and bear no personal responsibility for its upkeep and maintenance. It's also possible for the reseller to resell space and services that are rented under his or her own name.
Customers who get their hosting through a reseller may be presented only with the web hosting reseller's brand only: some web hosting resellers are reluctant to be honest about their reselling status. Hosting companies may support the "secret" model by offering anonymous tech support on behalf of the reseller. In this case, the reseller is actually an agent for the web host, but is operating like an independent company, and the relationship is not transparent to the customer. Resellers Panel is a web hosting company dedicated to this type of presentation, and offer their resellers a guarantee that they will not reveal that they are not actually in control of the servers. They also advertise that "no special skill [are] required" to resell their products. Caveat emptor.
On the other hand, some web hosting resellers are honest and upfront about their role, and take the stance that they can offer personalized service in a way that a very large web hosting enterprise can't. Resellers may also provide website design and development services and more. Customers may actually gain a benefit from having a middle man in this situation, which doesn't aspire to trick the customer.
Finding a Web Hosting Reseller Program
A number of web hosts offer a web hosting reseller program. This means that they are set up to work with resellers and invite that type of relationship. Web hosting companies that have web hosting reseller programs that are rated highly by reviewers include the following:
• Host Gator
• Green Reseller Web Hosting
• Site Cloud
• Host Clear
• Super Green Hosting
• Host Upon
Both Just Host and Host Gator have won 2010 awards for best reseller web hosting programs. On the other hand, reviews of Just Host, in particular, come in at both ends of the spectrum, so be sure to do your own checking.
What to Look For and Avoid When Choosing a Web Hosting Reseller Program
If you're considering becoming a web hosting reseller, here are some things to look for as you review your options:
• 24/7/365 customer support and server monitoring
• Guaranteed uptime
• Money back guarantee
• Reasonable reseller fees (check multiple hosts to see what they charge)
• Popular control panels and/or (if you want) customized control panels branded especially for your customers
• Reasonable bandwidth and space allowances
• Consistently good customer reviews
• Knowledgeable customer service and tech support (call yourself at a few different times of day and ask a few questions to get a feel).
Since you're not locked into a provider - as you may be with, say, cable television, - you can afford to shop around and choose hosting that you can wholeheartedly support as a reseller and that you can expect to support you to make sure your mutual customers have an excellent experience.