What is a Reseller?
A reseller is a term used to describe an account owner or a company who buys the host’s services wholesale and uses the account’s allotted hard drive space and bandwidth to host other websites on behalf of third parties. This is how the reseller works; he buys wholesale the host’s services and then sells them to other users, for the purpose of profiting from the sale. In some other cases, a reseller rents a dedicated server from a hosting provider and resells the shared rented hosting services.
Whichever the case may be, whether bought or rented, the account owner resells part of the allocated space and bandwidth to a third party. Basically, the reseller acts like a hosting service provider to those end users.
Who can become resellers?
Basically, any person or group of persons who wishes to start a web hosting company and who wishes to earn profit at a lesser capital can and may become a reseller. Although typically, most web hosting resellers are web developers, systems integrators or web design firms who offer web hosting as an add-on to their current services, reselling is basically open to anybody with a basic technical know-how in web services.
What technical know-how should you posses to become a reseller?
You need not be a computer wizard as it doesn’t need a deep and extensive technical knowledge about web hosting to become a reseller. Your responsibility is usually limited to the task of interfacing with the costumers because it is usually the responsibility of the data center operator to maintain network infrastructure and hardware. Should your site experience any technical problems, simply forward the problem to the server provider where you purchased the plan as it is their sole responsibility to troubleshoot any hardware, software and connectivity problems. You may need to focus more on an extensive advertising campaign to get customers and make a profit.
What do I get when I purchase a reseller account?
When purchased, most reseller hosting plans allows the resellers to choose their own pricing structure and their own service plans. However, sold with your reseller hosting plan are the following:
- WHMCS or Web Host Manager Complete Solution, a client management, billing & support solution for online businesses and a powerful online automation and support tool that handles practically everything, from signup to termination. This is important for client management, billing and support;
- A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) for hosting domain; you need to add SSL to your domain in order to secure the billing form from the website;
- A Domain Reseller Account;
- SSL for Reseller Account; and
- Free end-user support
How can resellers set up and manage customer accounts?
Resellers can easily set-up and manage customer accounts through a web-interface. Resellers may simply point and click the “Control Panels”. Below is the well known Control Panels list:
- WHM/cPanel –Web Host Manager (WHM) allows administrative access to the back end of cPanel while cPanel is a Unix based web hosting control panel that uses a GUI and automation tools for the purpose of simplifying the process of a hosting web site;
- Plesk – allows you to manage hundreds or thousands of virtual hosts on a single machine. It can be used with Shared, VPS and Dedicated hosting and helps reduce operating costs and resources while increasing efficiency, profitability and customer satisfaction;
- DirectAdmin – a graphical web-based control panel that is designed to make the administration of websites a lot easier. It is compatible with several versions of Fedora Core, Red Hat, CentOS, among others.
- Webmin – A web-based interface designed for the administration of Unix systems. It can set-up user accounts, DNS, and file sharing.