Resell Web Hosting in Five Easy Steps
If you've ever wanted to resell web hosting, but weren't exactly certain
how to get started - this article is for you! We'll outline the five basic
steps necessary to create a web hosting business through reselling accounts
that are provisioned in a reseller web hosting data center. While there
are many details that are required to be successful in any business, these
five steps should get you started, and with some diligence and persistence
- you may become a sizable web hosting venture.
Reselling Web Hosting - Step 1: Get an Exceptional Domain Name. It may
be obvious to you, but having the proper domain for your web hosting venture
is critical to your success. Why? There are two basic reasons: branding
(recall) and search engine optimization. In order to sell web hosting
to your prospects, they first have to be able to find you. That is, they
have to know that you offer web hosting accounts for sale.
The most common form of online research is the ubiquitous search engine.
There are really only 2 that matter: Google and Yahoo! In order to come
up on the first few pages of any relevant search for web hosting related
keywords, it is imperative that your domain name contain some form of
that keyword phrase. You can prove this to yourself by conducting a search
for the keyword, 'hosting' at www.google.com. You will notice that many
of the top results contain the word 'host' or 'hosting' in the domain
name. It simply gives you an advantage in search rankings.
So where to get such a name? You can go to a good domain search site
like, www.whois.sc (use the domain explorer tab) and see if there is a
name that has not yet been registered. The chances of a great, short,
memorable name being available is low (but not zero) - so you can increase
the odds of getting a great name in two ways: get a domain that is expiring
or buy a name from the current owner.
There are many great names that are expiring each day - that is, the
current owner has not renewed the domain by paying the yearly registration
fees. In fact, around 20,000 expired domains come back into circulation
each day. Sometimes the owner forgets, sometimes they lose interest -
in any event, you can snag a great name if you are willing to do some
research. For instance, click here to see a free list of daily expiring
Alternatively you can simply buy a domain name from the current owner.
Sites such as www.sedo.com can assist you in finding eager sellers for
a wide variety of domain names. Okay - now you've got a great domain name
- let's move to step 2.
Reselling Web Hosting - Step 2: Finding and Setting up a Great Web Hosting
Reseller Account. Unless you want to set up your own domain registration
process, get connectivity from major bandwidth providers, and have a warehouse
full of high end computers - you'll want to get a reseller account from
an established supplier. A good reseller account will offer tools (control
panel) to manage multiple domains and accounts from one central location.
That way, you can log in once and check the billing and provisioning status
of all of your customer accounts. Click here to view and compare web hosting
According to Brent Oxley, founder of web hosting reseller HostGator.com,
here's what to look for in your reseller account. ''The most important
thing to look for is a provider that provides an uptime guarantee and
a proven track record of upholding that guarantee. If the provider you
go with has frequent downtime you are destined to fail before getting
started. Do not let the resources in the plan or the price cloud your
judgment when looking for a stable provider to launch your new company.''
Mr. Oxley added, ''Here are a couple of very useful add-ons many reseller
companies include for free:
Domain Reseller Account - You are selling hosting which means many people
will also want to purchase domain names from you.
Billing Manager - A billing manager allows you to offer automated account
creation, keep track of payments, as well as all of your clients' account
information. Just because you're purchasing a reseller account do not
assume it comes with a billing manager. The majority of reseller hosting
companies use the control panel called, "cpanel/whm." This control
panel does not come with a billing manager so depending on the reseller
company you go with they may or may not include a billing manager.
Multi-language Control Panel Support - If you speak more than one language
it would make sense for your customer's control panel to support the languages
you will be marketing to.
Fantastico - Is a tool that has over 50 scripts that can be installed
with a click of the mouse. This would empower your customers to create
blogs, forums, shopping carts, portals, and much more without any scripting
knowledge. This is a huge marketing seller.''
Now that you've gotten a reseller account set up, it's time for step
Reselling Web Hosting - Step 3: Set up a Great Website and Order Form.
You have to look professional in order to convince customers to sign up
with you as a web host. That means a website designed by a professional.
You can either hire a designer (expensive) or use a template (inexpensive)
like those found at: www.templatemonster.com. The benefits of hiring a
designer is that you get a unique website that looks exactly the way you
want. It may cost you quite a bit, though. In contrast, a template will
be somewhat cookie-cutter, but will look professional and help you save
some money during your startup process.
Whichever way you decide to go, make sure that you pay close attention
to the sign up process. Make the order form as simple and easy to fill
out as possible. If you can have something default checked to save time,
by all means do so. Be sure to include a summary page of the order so
that your customers can review their order before purchase.
Now it's on to Step 4.
Reselling Web Hosting - Step 4: Driving Qualified Traffic to Your Website.
You can't get customers with out having some traffic to your new website.
There are complete textbooks written on how to market and gain website
traffic. I will focus you on only one possible traffic-driving solution,
but one which has proven to work for many small online businesses - Google's
You can see a complete and detailed step-by-step tutorial on using google
AdWords here: www.sitepoint.com/article/adwords-select-parts-1-4.
Below is a quick-start guide to getting your Google traffic flowing in
a few hours:
Setting Up a Google AdWords Account Step-by-Step
Okay, take a deep breath. Settle into the chair in front of your computer
and get ready to go. Follow these steps exactly:
1. Navigate your browser to: https://adwords.google.com/select and click
on the 'Sign Up Now' area.
2. Select the appropriate language and geographical targeting –
'Regions and cities' if you are a local business, 'Global or nationwide'
if you serve all regions (we'll use this setting for our example). Click
the 'Save and Continue' button.
3. Next you choose your countries. If you are a North American business,
I highly recommend selecting 'United States' only. To do this - go to
the right hand box entitled 'Selected Countries' and highlight 'All Countries'
with your mouse. Then click the 'Remove' button. The 'Selected Countries'
box will now be empty. Go to the left column and highlight 'United States'
- then click the 'Add' button. Click the 'Save and Continue' button.
4. Now you name your ad group and create your first online ad. Don't
worry - you can always go back and edit your ad at anytime. Just have
fun with it for now! To get started, think up a name that you want to
call your first group of ads. Type this name into the box labeled: 'Name
this Ad Group'.
Now go to section A: 'Create Ads' just below. You simply fill in the
boxes and Google does this cool 'automatic update' that shows you what
your ad will look like as you are filling in the boxes. When you have
an ad that you like - click the 'Save and Continue' button.
5. Choose the keywords that will trigger your ad. If you sell 'Unix
Web Hosting' then start with that keyword. If you sell ASP.NET Hosting'
then start with that. Once you have typed in a search term, you can always
use the 'Keyword Suggestion Tool' link on the same page to expand your
list. Google will automatically suggest words that may expand your traffic.
Be sure to do a reality check against this list - it's automated and some
terms may not be appropriate for your business. Once you have a list of
keywords, click the 'Save Keywords' button to continue.
6. Choose your maximum bid. I always set this to $.05 (five cents) to
start. This is Google's minimum bid amount. You can always change it later
if you need more traffic. Type in .05 and click the 'Calculate Estimates'
button. Ignore the resulting estimates - they are almost always wrong.
Simply click the 'Save and Continue' button. At this step Google will
ask if you want to create another ad group - simply bypass this step by
clicking the 'Continue to Step 3' button.
7. Now you specify you daily budget. I suggest being conservative here
as well. You can always increase this later. For now - figure out how
much you can spend each month for traffic and divide by 30. Put in an
amount that is this number or even lower. I usually start with $5 per
day as a maximum. When you've decided, simply click the 'Save and Continue'
8. Entering your contact information and password. This step requires
you to give Google a valid email address that you can check - in order
to send you to the final confirmation and billing step. Fill in your email
and pick a password that you can remember - preferably one that has at
least 1 numeral and is difficult to duplicate easily.
When you've filled in your information, click the 'I agree - Create
my AdWords account' button.
At this point you should see the following message: ''Thank you for
signing up with AdWords. Please check your email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for
a message from Google containing a link to our verification program.''
Follow the link in that message to confirm that we have your correct email
9. Check your email and finish setting up your account. Go to your email
and retrieve the Google email. Follow the link inside - this will verify
that your email is valid. Then simply login to your AdWords account using
the email address and password that you supplied in the last step.
10. Once you log in you will see the following message: ''Note: Your
account hasn't been activated. Payment information is required in order
to run your ads. Please provide your payment information on the Billing
Preferences page in the "My Account" section. Typically, your
ads will begin running almost immediately after you submit this information.''
Simply follow the 'Billing Preferences' link and enter your credit card
information. When complete click the 'Save Changes' button.
11. Your AdWords account is now live! You will see traffic from your
ads coming to your site almost immediately if you have selected popular
Then entire process described above can easily be completed in less
than 2 hours. I did it myself in less than an hour. Good luck and remember
if you ever have any problems with the account running through too much
cash - you can simply 'pause' the account giving you time to reduce your
bids, or delete keywords. While you won't become an AdWords expert from
this start up guide, you will begin to see highly targeted web traffic
come to your site in less than one day!
Okay - traffic is now coming to your site - time for the final step.
Reselling Web Hosting - Step 5: Differentiate Your Offering! You can't
expect to sell your web hosting to anyone of you adopt a 'me-to' attitude.
Make certain that you are different in some significant way from other
web hosting offerings out there. You can differentiate by creating a unique
special offer, by having an exceptional promotion or giveaway, or by bundling
services that other companies don't offer together - it doesn't matter
exactly what is different about your web hosting offer - just make sure
One last thing - remember to give a high level of customer service, or
your new found customers will flee to a more attentive competitor.
Good luck in reselling web hosting. If you follow the five steps outlined
above, you'll be on your way to a great new business venture!
About Derek Vaughan
Derek Vaughan has extensive online marketing experience including marketing
ecommerce at ESPN.com. and NASCAR.com, and directing marketing for Affinity
Internet and Aplus.Net in the highly competitive web hosting arena. He
is currently a partner at Website Hosting Directory (www.websitehostdirectory.com)
and Cheap Web Hosting Directory (www.cheaphostingdirectory.com) part of
the TechPad Agency network of web hosting related sites.