Things You Should Look For When Selecting a Reseller Web Host
Last updated on Apr 21, 2016
The benefits and advantages of reseller web hosting are many — you can get a separate cPanel account for each website, allowing you to manage and allocate resources more efficiently. Even if you do not plan on “reselling” hosting, you can still separate your websites, and ensure that the issues faced by one site are not faced by the others.
To learn more about reseller web hosting, and how it can be helpful for you, check out this post.
That said, what are some of the major things that you should look for when picking a reseller web hosting provider? In other words, are there any special factors to consider when selecting a reseller hosting package? In this article, I shall try to answer these questions.
It does not apply only to web hosting. You should check the refund policy of any service provider before actually making a purchase. However, when it comes to reseller web hosting, there are certain special considerations to be kept in mind.
To begin with, reseller hosting costs more than shared web hosting, and at times, a bigger reseller package might be costlier than a decent unmanaged VPS too. In such cases, paying per year can help you save a few extra bucks, and is not a bad strategy if you are planning to use that reseller hosting account for the long run.
However, what if certain things go wrong? If you need to cancel your reseller hosting account, for whatever reason — maybe moving to a different web host, or no longer needing the hosting at all — will your host offer you pro-rated refunds? Even more importantly, say you opt for a plan that allows you to add 15 hosting accounts, but later on, some of the sites no longer need hosting (maybe those were client sites and they dropped the project or moved elsewhere, or maybe you abandoned the sites yourself). In such a case, will your web host allow you to downgrade your reseller package to a small one, say one with 10 hosting accounts, and issue a pro-rated refund accordingly? These are the questions that you should seek answers to before making a purchase.
Be very clear and certain about the manner in which your host allocates resources to the separate accounts hosted as part of your reseller account. Generally speaking, most web hosts tend to offer the same set of resources to individual cPanel accounts on a reseller plan as the single cPanel account on a shared plan. Thus, if a shared hosting plan gets 1024 MB each of virtual and physical memory, each cPanel account within a reseller plan too will get a similar set of resources.
However, it is also not uncommon to see hosts offering a lesser amount of resources to reseller accounts. Thus, you might also find cPanel accounts under your reseller plan getting 1.5 GB of combined virtual and physical memory, which is lower than the 2 GB of what you might get on a shared plan. If you are planning to host a single website or only a handful of websites in each cPanel account on your reseller plan, it probably will not matter. But if you have a multitude of websites, such issues might lead to problems for busier websites.
At this point, it is obvious that web hosts that are upfront about the resources being offered across different plans are way better than unlimited web hosts, who might otherwise put severe limits on your resold websites, thereby affecting the performance in a negative manner.
Support is one of the most crucial considerations when picking a web host, and no matter what the nature of your hosting package is — shared, reseller, VPS or dedicated — support should always be exemplary. If not, you should consider changing your web host.
However, for reseller packages, you need to bear in mind some key aspects, other than the basic support requirements.
For instance, most web hosts are happy to move websites for free, especially if the source hosting server uses the same control panel as theirs. But, assuming you have multiple websites for your reseller plans, will they be willing to move them all, or is there a limit on the number of sites that they can move for free?
More importantly, even if you have no sites to begin with, will your web host be willing to move or transfer websites at a later date? Say, you sign up in April, and need a website moved to your account in September? Many web hosts do so; whereas many do not. CrocWeb, for example, is a reputed and reliable web hosting provider, but they are willing to move sites only if you have a new account with them. After a few months, you’re on your own.
Similarly, especially if you are using the reseller account to manage client sites, be sure to check the backup and restore policy of your web host.
You do not necessarily have to use your reseller hosting account to resell web hosting services. You can use it as a “multi-site” account, wherein you host each website in a different cPanel account. However, if you do wish to resell web hosting to your own customers, a reseller account can be a good start.
In such cases, you might wish to spend some time looking at the reselling features that your web host is offering. Many web hosting providers offer licenses for billing and hosting management software, such as Blesta or WHMCS, with their reseller packages. If you are looking to use such a software, going for a reseller package can save you the licensing fee for these products on a recurring basis.
Also, while overselling can be seen as a horrible practice, if you really are keen on following that model, there are web hosts that offer “overselling enabled” reseller hosting packages, and you can opt for one such package to suit your needs.
What do you think of the above ideas about selecting the ideal reseller web hosting provider? Also, which web host is your favorite when it comes to reseller hosting packages? Share your views in the comments below!
Sufyan is a contributor to a variety of websites and blogs about technology, Linux, open source, web design, content management systems and web development. Learn more about his works on sufyanism.com